OFI submit formal appeal while more information comes to light
Following yesterday’s announcement, OFI have confirmed they will appeal against the decision made by the Hellenic Football Federation’s (EPO) Ethics Committee to relegate the Cretan club.
Yesterday, the EPO’s Ethics Committee released its verdict concerning an allegedly rigged 2017/2018 Football League match between OFI and Aiginiakos (6:0), as the organisation found the two clubs guilty. As a result, OFI and Aiginiakos have both been punished with relegation from their respective leagues, however the decision is subject to a forthcoming appeal.
OFI confirmed that they will submit an appeal:
“OFI 1925 FC was informed of the decision made by the EPO’s Ethics Committee and will appeal to the Appeals Committee of the Hellenic Football Federation.”
In the event that the appeal is unsuccessful and the punishment stays the same, both OFI and Aiginiakos will automatically be placed in last position of their leagues, meaning they suffer relegation upon the completion of the 2018/2019 campaign.
According to findings which have recently been published, then OFI president Fotis Tsalos had contact with his Aiginiakos counterpart Giannis Nopas when the Cretans were leading 4:0 in the match in question, with the parties then subsequently threatening and pressuring the Aiginiakos players to concede two more goals. Aiginiakos duly let two more goals in to drop a 0:6 defeat in Heraklion.
Tsalos also supposedly covered all Aiginiakos travel expenses for the match as a part of the deal.
Back in late 2017, Apollon Pontou head coach Dimitris Kalaitzidis made allegations that Football League clubs were being paid to lose matches by big scores, and his testimony had a large bearing on the decision made by the EPO’s Ethics Committee. In January 2018, Kalaitzidis had also accused Nopas of openly fixing matches: “Aiginiakos owner Giannis Nopas told me that if we don’t fix games, we won’t be able to succeed in this league.”
Until their appeal is formally assessed, both OFI (Super League) and Aiginiakos (Football League) will continue competing in their championships as normal. At the moment, OFI are in 15th place of the Super League with 18 points from 23 matches, while Aiginiakos languish at the foot of the Football League table.