ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A court in Greece has convicted a 58-year-old businessman on match-fixing charges, two years after his football club Kavala was expelled from professional leagues.
Former nightclub owner Makis Psomiadis was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison on Thursday after he was convicted on charges of attempted blackmail and bribery in 2009 while he was in charge of Kavala. He was cleared on more serious charges of forming a criminal organization.
UEFA was involved in the Greek match-fixing scandal that involved several Greek Cup and second division games. Greek investigators considered Psomiadis to be the "de facto chairman" and to be in financial control of Kavala, though his son Stavros held the official title of chairman.
Both men deny any wrongdoing.
Makis Psomiadis has served a total of two years in pre-trial detention — including several months in neighboring Macedonia where he was arrested on an international warrant before being extradited back to Greece — and was allowed to pay a fine for the remainder of his sentence, but he remained in prison to await trial on separate corruption changes.
Kavala was promoted to the top league in 2009 and reached the semifinals of the Greek Cup the following year.