Cyprus Police Arrest 2 Men in Match-Fixing Probe

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)

NICOSIA — Cyprus police on Tuesday arrested two men in connection with a match-fixing probe following appeals from top government officials for whistle-blowers to step forward and help police clean up the sport.

The men, aged 33 and 39, haven’t been formally charged but are being investigated on possible charges of criminal conspiracy, bribery and match fixing. Police said in a statement the alleged offenses relate to this season’s matches.

Media reports said suspicions revolve around attempts to influence the result of a second-division match between Ayia Napa and Othellos Athienou that was played this past weekend.

Cypriot authorities pledged to clamp down on match fixing amid a resurgence of allegations following information that UEFA provided last month regarding suspicious betting activity on second-division and cup matches.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades last week announced a raft of additional measures authorities are looking to adopt to combat match fixing. They include a legal amendment enabling authorities to monitor suspicious betting activity on matches as well as the setting up of an independent judicial authority to exclusively adjudicate sport-related criminal cases.

Anastasiades urged anyone with information regarding match fixing to reach out to authorities, pledging that their anonymity would be protected.

Last month, the head of Omonia Nicosia claimed that he has been approached with offers to “buy off” a match, referees, and players and that he was even quoted the “going rate” or the price tag for a championship or a cup.