Cyprus is currently at the center of an international sports scandal involving a Brazilian football player named Alef Manga, who is 28 years old. As reported by Philenews, allegedly, Manga accepted a bribe of around $11,000 to deliberately receive a booking during a Brazilian championship match when he was playing for his former club, Coritiba, last year.
As a consequence of his involvement in the match-fixing scandal, Manga is prohibited from playing in Brazil until his trial, which was brought to light in November. However, this ban does not extend to other countries. Seizing this opportunity, the player took to his social media channels to announce that he has been loaned to Pafos FC, a first-division club based in Cyprus.
According to reports from Brazilian media, Pafos FC is set to pay 300,000 euros for the loan, ensuring that Manga remains in Cyprus until June of next year.
The scandal has sparked international concerns, as there are suspicions that individuals involved in the match-fixing scandal may have connections in other countries such as the United States, Greece, and Lithuania.
Philenews sought a statement from Efthymios Efthymiou, the vice president of Cyprus' Ethics and Sports Protection Committee. He stressed that it is premature to make any comments on the case at this time. If substantial evidence is found, they will conduct a thorough investigation within the scope of their responsibilities.
On the other side of the story, an unnamed official from Pafos FC defended the decision to transfer Manga, stating that it was based solely on his football skills. The official assured that the club will fully cooperate if any illegal activities come to light, just as they would with any other player.
According to a report on Philenews, the player declined the request, citing a communication issue. It was later revealed that the player's agent is also of Brazilian origin.
As the scandal unfolds, the international sports community remains vigilant, waiting to see how the situation develops and what further implications it might have on the sport's integrity.