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Cyprus urges police to investigate match-fixing allegations

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' justice minister urged police on Wednesday to swiftly investigate allegations of match-fixing after UEFA notified the country's soccer federation of suspicious betting activity in three second-division matches and a pair of cup games.

Justice Minister George Savvides said he has informed both the federation head and the country's chief of police his “strong concern and sensitivity" over any instances of corruption. Savvides said the Cypriot government maintains a “zero tolerance" on corruption.

The federation said all the details contained in the UEFA files have been forwarded to police for investigation. According to the federation, the three second-division matches involve the teams Ermis Aradippou, Digenis Morphou, Onisilos Sotiras, Othellos Athienou and P.O. Xylotymbou.

Last year, all second-division matches in Cyprus were temporarily suspended after UEFA pointed to suspicious betting on eight matches. That prompted the introduction of tougher penalties for match-fixing, with lower-division teams facing funding cuts, point deductions and even relegation if they are found guilty of cheating.

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