Cash for whistleblowers: this is how one Cypriot football club plans to fight match fixing

Top Cypriot football team, Omonia Nicosia is offering up to €25,000 to whoever comes forward with useful information about corruption in football

Omonia Nicosia's president blasted the corruption in Cypriot football
Omonia Nicosia's president blasted the corruption in Cypriot football

A Cypriot football club is offering money to whistleblowers who can provide useful information about corruption in football.

Omonia Nicosia, a top-flight team, is offering anything between €5,000 and €25,000 to whoever comes forward with information exposing corrupt practices, the Cyprus Mail reports.

The unorthodox decision to weed out corruption was announced by club president Stavros Papastavrou after the club accused the Cyprus Football Association and other teams in the Cypriot football league of corruption.

“Until the end of the current season, we are offering a fee starting from €5,000 and up to €25,000 to anyone who will bring us information that turns out to be useful,” Papastavrou said.

The club has also asked UEFA and FIFA, the European and world football governing bodies, to intervene in Cyprus.

Papastavrou has also alleged that people connected to the criminal world were involved in Cypriot football. Illegal betting was not the only problem football faced, he added.

“There are several other problems, including corruption and intimidation that we have to face in order to clean up the situation. If we do not act immediately, we are facing an absolute disaster,” Papastavrou said, denouncing the rot in Cypriot football.

The club drew up a report on the state of Cypriot football to pass on to UEFA representatives that are investigating match-fixing claims on the Mediterranean island.

But the club’s fight will also focus on what the president described as “dodgy mistakes” made by referees.

“We will also hire a former referee, who will be in charge to analyse and identify those mistakes and will send his findings to the UEFA,” Papastavrou said.

He said people can email anonymously any information about unclear decisions or blatant mistakes taking place on the pitch.

“The emails will be handled by a lawyer who will be responsible for investigating, cross-checking and trying to substantiate the claims,” he said.

All final reports will be given to the attorney general and to UEFA.

Police called on the club president to provide them with evidence of his claims.