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Makis Psomiadis: Where is the football Fantomas still hiding

28 August 2011 / 18:08:03  GRReporter
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The issue with “cleaning up” Greek football starts far back in the years ever since the incidence of corruption accompanied the most popular sport for decades. In recent years, however with the advent of wise guys from ordinary crooks to fame loving personas, the stench became unbearable. The institutional bodies in football, which proved to be unreliable in terms of the main obligation to ensure the legitimacy of the sector and the state, which closes its eyes to irregularities after various governments measured their political price with the strength of each team, the situation reached an impasse. 

The external interference of UΕFΑ was the wick that led the scene of Greek football on fire. The investigation of the European Federation for regulated matches in Europe brought to light tens of suspicious matches in Greece and obliged Greek football authorities to finally deal with the issues and submit a report to the Greek justice. 

The investigation of the prosecutor Poppy Papandreou and the Greek Intelligence Service revealed three "criminal organizations" operating in the field of football in order to gain profits from regulated matches, to influence referees in favor of teams, but also their "friends" to threaten institutional factors in order to get immunity, even preferential treatment. According to the prosecutor's investigation it is believed that head of one of the three organizations is longtime on stage protagonists and behind the scenes of Greek football Makis Psomiadis. 

Contradictory information about the actions of Makis Psomiadis remind a live TV show for the search of missing people. At one point they see him on the island of Mytilene, on the road to Agios Raphael. Suddenly another viewer sees him as a tourist in Palio, Kavala, a few miles from his home. The thriller continues and the silver alert signal in the form of an arrest warrant from Interpol has reached every corner of the planet. 

One eminent supporter 

Makis Psomiadis is a fugitive from June 26 when the arrest warrant was issued from prosecutor Poppy Papandreou, who deals with the investigation of of fixed matches in Greek football. UEFA records identified the senior factor with characteristic mustache, to be one of the main suspects in Greece for the manipulation of football matches, to profit from illegal betting in connection with his work in teams of Kavala. Officially, of course, the majority stake of the Macedonian club belonged to his children - Christina and Stavros. Βig Μac remained what he was in AEK as well nearly 10 years ago: a "distinguished supporter"! But with many rights, such as daily presence in the locker room and the training of the team. Or even visiting referees and opposing teams before, during and after the matches. What about his duties there? To pay players from Kavala in cash in plastic bags when they got the job done! 

Using the super bugging device of the intelligence service, however, confirmed the opinion of all who believed Psomiadis to be the secret boss of "Kavala". Until the moment when the prosecution pre-ordered an investigation into the leaks from the voluminous case of fixed matches, we heard and read scary dialogues with major player Psomiadis. Icing on the cake was the issuance of false medical report in order to excuse him from not appearing in court. There were, of course, also coded conversations about the "high Cisse,” about the “cowardly oaf," about referees, but also about indirect requests, which would allow "Kavala" to participate in international championships. 

He revealed the intentions of the police 

On Friday marked were two months, during which Makis Psomiadis eludes the authorities. Greek police had requested Interpol's assistance because rumors had it that he had fled to Skopje. 

The way the priest's son from Kavala run away, resembles a film. Just like the rest of his life reminds us of the film hero Fantomas. With countless activities, some legal and others illegal, which could send him to prison for life. He has crossed the prison doors several times but few hours after that he found himself in the hospital with severe breathing problems, even though his room in "Sotiria" Hospital in 2002 had a special ashtray for the Cuban cigars he loves so much! 

Stories of people close to him have it that Psomiadis has escaped arrest because he showed more insight than the other defendants. A day before the mass arrests for fixed matches Βig Μac noticed strange movements around his house when he went home. He found out that it was the police and came to find out their intentions. According to people from Psomiadis’ surrounding, the police informed him that they want him to get in touch with a senior Greek police officer. Indeed, he called, they told him that all was a big misunderstanding – since they did not have the arrest warrants yet - and the matter ended there. 

After so many years living on the edge of the law Psomiadis suspected something. And from the following morning he made sure he will disappear before the police surprised him in his sleep. 

Connections abroad 

Tags: Makis Psomiadis match fixing Greek football bets
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