Cyprus: Anastasiades to chair meeting to discuss the state of Cypriot football, February 7

Cyprus: Anastasiades to chair meeting to discuss the state of Cypriot football, February 7

The President of the Republic of Cyprus once again calls on anyone with information and reports of illegal acts in the field of football to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities, Government Spokesman Kyriakos Kousios said today.

Speaking to reporters at the Presidential Palace, the Spokesman said that “President Nicos Anastasiades will chair a wide-ranging debate on the situation on football, on 7 February, regarding the application of the provisions of the football supporter card legislation.

During this meeting, the President of the Republic will ask both from the Prosecuting Authorities and the Football Authorities for a thorough briefing on the procedures and actions regarding the efforts to combat and eliminate corruption in Cypriot football.

As it is known, the President of the Republic a few days ago, during a Cyprus Sports Journalists Association (CSJA) event for top athletes, taking into consideration the more than 80 case files on suspicion of matches manipulation in football, sent by UEFA in recent years, and taking into account the bombings against persons involved in football, as well as the complaints of teams’ officials, made a statement about the necessity to purge football, which should be done through appropriate actions and procedures of the legislative bodies and authorities, as provided by the laws of the Republic of Cyprus.

For this reason, the President of the Republic once again calls on anyone with information and reports of such unlawful acts, “to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities in order to achieve the desired result. The State assures that it will provide the utmost protection to anyone who contributes to this”.

Asked about the issue of the removal of telephone conversations confidentiality, the Government Spokesman said that “the key – and this is being discussed and said over time, not just today – is anyone or who has any information to hand them over to the relevant prosecuting authorities. You are aware that in order to be able to impinge on both the security and the determination of the State, as Senior Police Officer has been appointed the Director of the Crime Detection Unit, with the rank of Senior Police Officer as the person handling these cases. Anyone with any information is therefore urged to inform the Director of the Police Headquarters Crime Detection Department and to ensure that the State is present and will support any efforts to combat corruption.

The issue of amendments to the law, as voted on, for wiretaps, is only one part. As the Minister of Justice has said in his statements, these amendments do not allow for wiretaps without causing legal problems and procedural issues.

The Minister of Justice has studied the matter, the President of the Republic will make his decisions on further actions and you will be informed accordingly”.

Asked whether the President had been informed of the results of the meetings with UEFA’s delegation, the Spokesman said that “this meeting was scheduled before the visit of UEFA’s representatives and so the President of the Republic has been briefed by the Minister of Justice on the meetings he had”.

In addition, referring to the UN Security Council resolution that is expected to be adopted to renew UNFICYP’s mandate and to information that contains unacceptable references to the Greek Cypriot side, the Spokesman said that “Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, with his personal actions and the actions of Foreign Ministry officials, has taken all necessary steps to ensure that the resolution does not contain any negative elements and we hope that the actions taken will have the desired result”.

In another question on the matter, he said that “there was a draft; we believe the issue was dealt with and we expect that the outcome will be positive after the Foreign Minister’s actions”.

Asked if after Lute’s phone conversation with Mustafa Akinci there was also a corresponding telephone conversation with President Anastasiades, the Government Spokesman said that “there is a time difference between New York and Cyprus; the telephone conversation must be in the afternoon and it is expected that at some point today or later tomorrow the President of the Republic will have a telephone conversation with Jane Hole Lute”.

Responding to a question, Kyriakos Kousios said that “the position, as expressed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus in the Council of EU Foreign Ministers, was that Cyprus would be unable to respond positively to any decision on Turkish issues. This was the position of the Republic of Cyprus. There was nothing more and nothing less declared and the position of the Republic of Cyprus is clearly reflected in the statement and position of the Minister of Foreign Affairs”.

Asked if the issue of EU sanctions against Turkey is moving forward, the Spokesman said “yes, as you will know after the Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Josep Borrell made statements, various measures were mentioned, some actions were taken and we believe that we are moving positively in this direction”./ibna