Former Cyprus FA official welcomes UEFA lawsuit

A former Cypriot Football Association official who alleges the

2012 European Championship was corruptly awarded to Poland and

Ukraine said on Friday that he will use a UEFA defamation lawsuit

against him to prove his claims.

Spyros Marangos said the legal action will give him a chance to

prove allegations that four UEFA officials took bribes of more than

?10 million ($13.8 million) to sell the tournament rights in

2007.

The eastern European neighbors defeated pre-poll favorite Italy

8-4 in a vote of UEFA executive committee members.

”My purpose is to let the truth shine,” Marangos said, adding

that he has testimony from three Cypriot witnesses and ”specific

documentation which prove the scandal.”

UEFA said it is acting against Marangos because he missed a

Wednesday deadline to provide evidence backing his claims.

But Marangos said that he will only disclose the evidence in a

Cyprus court because he doesn’t trust UEFA and fears a cover-up. He

said he would refuse to testify abroad, insisting that legal

proceedings take place in Cyprus where he feels he will receive a

fair trial.

”I have told UEFA that I don’t trust them to give them my

evidence … we will turn over the evidence to Cypriot justice,”

he said.

”If this (legal) procedure doesn’t start in Cyprus, then I’m

not divulging any names, or evidence or anything under any

circumstances, and I’m not afraid of this issue.”

Marangos said a planned meeting with UEFA officials in August

when he would have handed over the evidence was scrapped by the

European football body at the last minute.

He said the alleged payoffs to the four unnamed UEFA officials

were made through a law office based in the southern coastal town

of Limassol that ”represents Ukrainian interests.”

Officials in Poland and Ukraine have denied Marangos’ claims,

while football officials in Cyprus and Italy also dismissed the

allegations.

Marangos, a former CFA treasurer, left the association in 2007

after failing to win re-election to its board. He said he expects

legal proceedings against him to begin in a month’s time.

Also on Friday, Romania’s anti-corruption prosecutors said they

are investigating the country’s football federation president over

claims he took a bribe to vote for the 2012 European Championship

to be held in Poland and Ukraine.

Mircea Sandu has denied the allegations.