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ATHENS — The Chairman of Greek champion Olympiacos has been suspended from sporting activities and released on bail after testifying on June 18 in a major investigation into alleged corruption in Greek soccer, jeopardizing his side’s Champions League spot.

Court officials said Vangelis Marinakis was ordered to appear twice a month at his local police station as part of the conditions of his bail, which was granted after testifying for more than five hours.

The bail was set at 200,000 euros ($230,000).

Prosecutors are investigating allegations that Marinakis was part of a criminal organization that instigated bribes and blackmail attempts to try and fix results in the Greek league.

Thirty-two others, including members of a referees’ committee, and officials from the Greek Football Association and topflight clubs Veria and Atromitos are also under investigation in the same probe headed by prosecutor Giorgos Andreadis.

While there was no immediate reaction from Marinakis or Olympiacos, Marinakis has denied the allegations, accusing rival clubs of making false claims against him.

The investigation is ongoing, and no decision has been made on whether Marinakis will stand trial.

UEFA rules bar entry to the Champions League and Europa League for any club involved in fixing matches since April 2007.

In August 2011, Turkish champion Fenerbahce was withdrawn from the group stage by its national federation while its president was implicated in fixing matches to win the previous season’s league title. UEFA reinstated Trabzonspor which had been eliminated in the qualifying rounds.

Panathinaikos was league runner-up last season, and could be upgraded to the Champions League group stage from the third qualifying round.

State television quoted PAOK football club owner Ivan Savvidis as praising Marinakis’ suspension.

“I truly hope that the prosecutors’ decision heralds a new era for Greek football,” he was quoted as saying.

 

The post Olympiacos Owner in Corruption Probe appeared first on The National Herald.

Source: The National Herald
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