9th November 2017

Olympiakos owner steps down ahead of match-fixing trial

Evangelos Marinakis, the owner of Olympiakos, has temporarily stepped down as Chairman of the Greek club ahead of a trial for match-fixing, a charge he denies. Marinakis is also owner of English Football League Championship club Nottingham Forest. Charges alleging that Marinakis was a member of a criminal organisation were dropped in August 2015 due to a lack of evidence, but allegations that he was involved in match-fixing during Greek football matches in 2010 and 2011 will now be heard by the Athens Court of Appeal, reports AFP.

‘The Judicial Council of Appeals, a three-member panel of senior judges that reviews prosecutorial complaints, has unanimously rejected the charges related to membership in a criminal organisation, fraud, extortion and arson, previously raised against me and other persons in Greek football, as absolutely unfounded’, read a statement from Marinakis referring to the 2015 charges. ‘The Judicial Council on the other hand could not reach a unanimous decision, when it found that certain match fixing charges be upheld against me and another 27 persons. The 2:1 majority vote will be tested in court, as the chair of the Judicial Council expressed the dissenting view that those charges will have to be dismissed as well.

‘I am certain that my innocence with regard to these remaining charges will be demonstrated by the judicial process that will ensue, thus fully exonerating me and vindicating the stated opinion of the chair of the Judicial Council. Until the conclusion of the proceedings and for the few months remaining until my full exoneration, I propose to the board of directors of Olympiacos F.C. that the position of the Chairman of the board to be taken over by the Mayor of Piraeus and Vice President of Olympiacos F.C., Mr Giannis Moralis.’

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