UEFA to reform scandal-hit Greek football

Former France midfielder Platini added that four groups of delegates would arrive in the Greek capital next month to monitor domestic football and propose solutions to the problems.

UEFA to reform scandal-hit Greek football

UEFA president Michel Platini is to send teams of experts to Greece to help the country reform its soccer leagues following increased crowd violence at games and a match-fixing scandal.

Platini met Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) president Sofoklis Pilavos in Athens on Tuesday for what he described as "constructive talks" on violence, match-fixing, doping and refereeing.

"Our goal is to help EPO guide Greek football in the right direction," the head of European soccer's ruling body told reporters.

Former France midfielder Platini added that four groups of delegates would arrive in the Greek capital next month to monitor domestic football and propose solutions to the problems.

He said one of the experts would be UEFA's head of referees Pierluigi Collina of Italy.

"We will work hard on each and every issue with EPO to help improve their rules and regulations," added Platini. "We will try to improve the refereeing."

Greek football is reeling from a probe into its biggest match-fixing scandal which erupted in June.

More than 60 individuals including club officials, players and businessmen are being investigated by the Athens prosecutor while three club presidents have been imprisoned pending trial.

"Whatever touches the game also touches the players, our soul and football. Football cannot be played if we know the result beforehand," Platini said.

"We have a detection system, we see how much is placed in terms of bets and what results from those bets but our effort stops there. Beyond that it is a matter of policing and the justice system."

In addition to the match-fixing investigation, violence inside and outside stadiums plagued Greek football last season.

Fans from Olympiakos Piraeus, Panathinaikos, AEK Athens and PAOK Salonika were banned following pitch invasions involving battles with police and attacks on players.

Reuters

Last Mod: 27 Temmuz 2011, 15:12
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