The use of drones to monitor unruly football fans and the formation of a Deputy Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Culture, are among the new measures agreed upon on Friday by the Government and Cyprus authorities in a bid to tackle the boiling cauldron of football match fixing claims.
The persistent problem of match fixing, that authorities have appeared unable to tackle effectively over the years, emerged once again as a hot topic recently after UEFA sent several notices suggesting foul play. The notices showed suspicious betting activity, conducted mostly in Asian markets.
Though dozens of notices have been received by Cyprus in the past, without any resolution on any of the cases, the Government now appears to be pulling up its sleeves.
Fanning the flames, one of Cyprus’ most popular clubs, Omonoia, came out recently claiming that match fixing was rife on the island, but has yet to disclose evidence to the police.
In statements after the meeting held at the Presidential Palace on Friday, President Nicos Anastasiades announced the Government will be creating a new Deputy Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Culture, as well as an independent sports authority, with exclusive jurisdiction to try cases of corruption and match fixing offenses.
The President also said that the 2017 law on combatting match fixing will see a stricter enforcement.
Authorities will also obliged to strictly follow the codes set out by the Cyprus Sports Organization, while the law governing the National Betting Authority will also be amended.
All matches of the second division of the Cyprus football league will be from now on be recorded on video and archived.