Nicosia, Apr 11 : Cyprus's Football Association (CFA) has suspended the second division championship after receiving several reports from UEFA on possible match fixing, a statement said on Wednesday. The statement by the Cyprus Football Federation executive committee said that until its governing board decides on the resumption of the championships it will apply specific measures to avert game fixing. Though this is not the first time for the European soccer's governing body to send so-called "red files" on suspected games, the suspension of the championship has no precedent.
It came at the closing stage of the championship, when top teams are in the final straight for promotion to the first division. CFA said in its statement that the decision came after an examination of "the recurring phenomenon of second division championship games which, as stated in reports sent by UEFA, were possibly pre-determined. It did not say how many reports were received, but Cyprus's state radio reported that CFA received seven "red files" from UEFA, with two more such files expected any time.
A sports newspaper referred on its website to a match on Sunday in which the visiting team was leading at half time, but was thrashed in the second half after the club's chairman ordered its players to be beaten. It also said that a second game was discontinued 12 minutes into the second half because of a failure of the lighting under suspicious circumstances. Immediately afterwards the chairman and the coach of the home team resigned. Before the start of the championship in the autumn of 2018, CFA introduced steep penalties for teams named in UEFA reports, with some teams fined with the maximum of 50,000 euros for involvement in suspected match fixing. (XINHUA)