Brisbane Roar player Avraam Papadopoulos at Ballymore. Pics Tara Croser.
Brisbane Roar player Avraam Papadopoulos at Ballymore. Pics Tara Croser.

Roar star punished for role in Greek football scandal

BRISBANE Roar defender Avraam Papadopoulos has been punished with a suspended 30-month jail sentence for illegally betting on matches during his time with Greek club Olympiakos.

Papadopoulos was one of 58 people to have been sentenced by a three-member Court of Appeal to jail terms of up to 10 years for their involvement in the 2011 match-fixing scandal which rocked Greek football.

Several of the sentences were suspended for three years, while a number of other individuals can avoid jail by paying five euros per day for the duration of their prison term.

The Roar knew of the accusations against Melbourne-born Papadopoulos when they signed him in February last year.

The three-time A-League champions are backing Papadopoulos, who did not bet on matches involving Olympiakos.

Another former Olympiakos player, Kostas Mendrinos was handed a similar punishment for the same offence.

Former Ilioupoli player Michalis Nikolopoulos was sentenced to four years behind bars, a sentence that will be suspended under the condition that he appears every month at the local police station and is under the supervision of a social welfare officer.

Avraam Papadopoulos in action for the Roar.
Avraam Papadopoulos in action for the Roar.

Nikolopoulos was found guilty of betting, as well as bribery in two matches. Achilleas Beos, the mayor of the northern city of Volos and ex-president of Olympiakos Volos, received a four-year sentence for bribery, manipulating results of two matches and illegal betting.

Asteras Tripolis owner Dimitris Bakos and the club's president Giorgos Borovilos were handed suspended three-year terms for bribery, while former Levadiakos president Giannis Kombatis got a term of 30 months.

The longest jail term was given to former Ilioupoli president Giorgos Tsakogiannis, sentenced to 10 years and 10 months for illegal gambling, illegal betting, bribery, money laundering, attempted extortion and the possession of illegal weapons.

Avraam Papadopoulos in action for Olympiakos.
Avraam Papadopoulos in action for Olympiakos.

He was reportedly involved in four attempts to rig matches.

All those sentenced have the right of appeal.

Originally 84 people were named in the match-fixing scandal, including Olympiakos boss Vangelis Marinakis who along with 24 others were acquitted.

Greek judicial authorities began the investigation after a list of 41 suspicious matches were submitted to the country's football federation by European football's ruling body UEFA.

The list included two matches from the Super League and many from the second division.