All hell broke loose during a House ethics committee hearing on Wednesday, when lawmakers heard troubling allegations about match fixing in Cyprus after a whistleblower publicly accused former president Nicos Anastasiades of interfering with a probe.
Lawmakers called witnesses to testify before an ethics committee following allegations by the former chairman of the Committee of Ethics and Safeguarding in Sports, Andreas Papacharalambous, who dropped a bombshell earlier this month when he accused Anastasiades during a public podcast that he unlawfully interfered in a soccer match-fixing probe.
During the hearing, another former member of the sports ethics committee, Harris Savvides, told lawmakers that the Cyprus Football Association failed to forward red notices from UEFA regarding suspicious betting activity.
'If you ask 100 people outside this room, you will learn about Nicos Anastasiades and what he is made of'
Savvides also revealed that one of the red notices was about a friendly match between AEL and Karmiotissa, with UEFA pointing out that the match had been removed from betting agencies, including those in Asia.
AEL won 8-1 the match in question, while the red notice pointed to bets on having 9 goals in the game. The game was 7-1 when the Karmiotissa goalkeeper scored an odd own goal during extra time.
But while a number of allegations raised eyebrows during Wednesday’s hearing, Papacharalambous was accused of having ulterior motives in accusing the former president.
DISY MP Demetris Demetriou, who chairs the Houses committee, told state radio on Thursday morning that lawmakers also reviewed separate letters written by Papacharalambous, with the lawmaker saying there were inconsistencies in the words of the former chairman as well as raising questions about his trustworthiness.
But AKEL MP Loucaides, who was the onw who registered the issue with the House committee, argued on state radio that Anastasiades was caught not being forward on many issues in the past.
Loucaides also claimed that the Committee of Ethics and Safeguarding in Sports was not effective in probing match fixing “because power and corruption thrived due to an institutional omerta.”
Anastasides has vehemently denied he had phoned up Papacharalambous to ask him to drop an investigation into an Apollon-Karmiotissa match.
But Papacharalambous doubled down on his claims, saying he could revealing letters he had written about the issue and adding that even his wife could hear the former president yell on the other end of the receiver.
“If you ask 100 people outside this room, you will learn about Nicos Anastasiades and what he is made of,” Papacharalambous said.