Former Cyprus soccer official welcomes UEFA’ suit
A former Cyprus soccer official plans to use UEFA’s defamation
lawsuit against him to prove his allegations that the 2012 European
Championship was corruptly awarded to Poland and Ukraine.
Spyros Marangos said Friday that the legal action will give him
a chance to prove his claims that four UEFA officials took bribes
of more than $13.8 million to sell the tournament rights in
The eastern European neighbors defeated 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 must 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,”
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 soccer officials in Cyprus and Italy also dismissed the
Marangos, a former treasurer of the Cypriot Football
Association, left the body 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 Friday, Romania’s anti-corruption prosecutors said they are
investigating the country’s soccer 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.