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Three Croats charged in Greece

plato-ny2010-05-10 14:30:01 +0000 #1
Greek prosecutor charges Croats over suspect UEFA Cup tie

ATHENS, Nov 18 (Reuters) - An Athens prosecutor has charged three Croatian brothers, convicted on Thursday in a German match-fixing trial, with fraud and illegal financial gain in connection with a UEFA Cup tie in Greece last year.

"Prosecutor Spyros Mouzakitis has given the case to a court magistrate for further investigation and has apart from the Croats, also charged unknown Greek associate or associates involved in the case with the same charges," a court source told Reuters on Friday.

UEFA, European soccer's governing body, launched a probe late last year into the Panionios-Dinamo Tbilisi match. ADVERTISEMENT

Panionios beat the Georgian team 5-2 in Athens after trailing 1-0 at halftime and 2-1 early in the second half.

British betting companies at the time noted unusually heavy betting on exactly such a scenario, prompting the investigation.

Croatian ringleader Ante Sapina and his brothers Filip and Milan, charged in Greece, were found guilty on Thursday of fixing matches in the biggest soccer scandal to hit 2006 World Cup organisers Germany.

Ante Sapina was jailed for two years and 11 months. His brothers received suspended sentences.

Referee Robert Hoyzer, who helped them win more than two million euros, was jailed for two years and five months. Hoyzer had previously said the ring had also fixed matches in Greece and Austria without giving more details.

At the time the allegations first surfaced, days after the UEFA Cup tie, both clubs denied any wrongdoing.

Neither Panionios nor Dinamo Tbilisi made it past the UEFA Cup group stage.

While UEFA officially never closed the investigation, it has not announced any findings since it started the checks in March this year.

A Panionios spokesman told Reuters: "We have not been informed of any of these developments. Neither UEFA nor the Greek prosecutor has contacted the club in recent days and so we just have to wait and see how this develops."



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