By Samindra Kunti in Kiev
May 25 – Accusations of match-fixing rocked Ukrainian football this week but UEFA Executive Committee member and former Ukrainian FA boss Grigoriy Surkis has blasted the timing of the police raids and the inertia of the local FA in not having dealt with the problems. He called for a thorough investigation. Kiev hosts the Champions League final on Saturday.
Local police carried out raids in the country on Tuesday, saying that criminal gangs were involved in widespread match-fixing. Thirty-five Ukrainian clubs were accused of involvement. The news came at a sensitive moment for Ukraine as Kiev is set to host the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on Saturday.
“It was the wrong timing on the eve of the final in Kiev, but when I noticed that the Ukrainian FA (FFU) is taking the credit, I am surprised and indignant,” lamented Surkis. “The actions of the FFU in the last two years were shameful, proving that the FFU did nothing.”
Surkis served as FFU president from 2000 to 2012. He was also Dynamo Kiev boss from 1993 and 1998. “I hope that the police and ministry of internal affairs will investigate this to the bottom and not leave it as at what it was before. It should send a signal that this can’t be done because it dishonours the essence of football.”
Major Ukrainian clubs Shakhtar Donetsk, the reigning domestic champions, and 15-time winners Dynamo Kiev were not among those clubs named. Local authorities claim the scheme involves 57 cases of match-fixing with more than 300 people active.
“We have been collecting and documenting the proof for over a year,” said Serhiy Knyazev, the head of the National Police of Ukraine.
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