OFI Crete is relegated for match-fixing

The Greek soccer federation decided on Monday the relegation of OFI Crete to the second division, and of second-tier club Aiginiakos to the third division, for fixing last year’s Football League match between them. In response a firm of hardcore OFI fans threatened against the Greek national team playing its home games in Iraklio.

On November 12, 2017, OFI hosted Aiginiakos for the Football League and won 6-0. The Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) received information, including testimonies, that pointed to a manipulation of the encounter and on Monday its Ethics Committee ruled that OFI and Aiginiakos were guilty of match fixing.

The verdict, that was not published by EPO but by the clubs involved, provides for their relegation for next season, the deduction of six points from their tally next year, a fine of 300,000 euros per club, and a fine of 60,000 euros on each of the two clubs’ presidents at the time along with a lifetime ban from the game.

According to the ruling there is also a 10-year ban from soccer imposed on three Aiginiakos players plus a 5,000-euro fine, while former Aiginiakos official Alexandros Machairidis got a life ban from soccer and a 20,000-euro fine.

Crucially, all decisions can be appealed and OFI stated on Monday it will immediately take the case to a second degree. This is the first time the Ethics Committee of EPO has issued a relegation verdict for match fixing.

EPO has chosen Pankritio Stadium at Iraklio as the new, permanent home of the national team, but on Monday OFI’s diehard supporters warned that “unless the punishment goes only against individuals and not the club, no national team will be welcome in Iraklio. You will realize it immediately within Pankritio Stadium.”

OFI and Aiginiakos will continue to play in their divisions for now, at least until their case comes to a final ruling.

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