Apollon Pontou coach Kalaitzidis accuses Football League players of match fixing
Following a Greek Football League match between Aiginiakos and Apollon Pontou, a game which the former won 2:1, Apollon head coach Dimitris Kalaitzidis made an incredible corruption allegation. According to his words, players have received large sums of money in order to lose matches by big scores.
Understandably, Kalaitzidis was frustrated after watching his team lose a close encounter against Aiginiakos, but no one quite expected him to drop such a bombshell. In his post-match interview, the Apollon coach called upon the Greek footballing body to act on the matter. “I would like the sports attorney to invite me, because I have information surrounding agents coming into the dressing room and asking for players to concede goals. Players are offered 20,000 euros before the game begins to let in four or five goals,” stated Kalaitzidis.
On December 1, the allegations were heard in front of the sports attorney over the course of forty minutes. During that time, Kalaitzidis had the chance to officially put across his information surrounding the corruption issue. “Before the championship started, I was approached by a man from another club who said that if I don’t join a group of teams who purposefully fix matches, it will be tough for us. I declined, however, stating that the previous season was difficult but the team still managed to overcome the hurdles in place.”
Kalaitzidis went on to mention that he knows the names of those prepared to fix games, promising to reveal them to the prosecutors. “I know about incidents which have taken place this year. I will mention them to the prosecutor. I will name the football players. I’ll share all information which I am aware of.” When asked about who is involved in match fixing, Kalaitzidis said that it is only footballers. “There are presidents, technical directors and footballers. The matches are not fixed by presidents, they are rigged by footballers. There have been significant incidents this year.”
As more information connected with corruption in the Football League is released, we will find out just how big a part match rigging plays in the second tier of Greek football.
by Shaun Nicolaides