On the morning of Thursday 28/1/2021, Aristea Tsamadia, president of the three-member Criminal Court of Appeals in Athens, announced that the Court unanimously acquitted the owner of Olympiacos, Vangelis Marinakis, and all the others 27 defendants from all the accusations that had been leveled against them in the 28th Trial.

After a thorough analysis of all the elements of the investigation, from the testimony of the witnesses (and the contradictions they encountered) and from the rejection of the pre-investigation conclusion by the lawyers of the accused, the court decided to reject all the accusations.

Back in 2015, the shipping magnate and his co-defendants had been charged with match fixing over two games, as well as for “the attendant charge of joint criminal enterprise”. In 2017, four criminal charges were dropped against Marinakis, but the charges of match-fixing went ahead.

The allegations had already been examined by both the disciplinary bodies of UEFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2015 and no match-fixing or other foul play was found. A conclusion that enabled Olympiacos F.C. to participate in the 2015-2016 UEFA Champions League tournament.

The case lasted almost six years and occupied Greek football, tarnishing reputations, has now been closed definitively and irrevocably.

The case took inter-club and political rivalries in Greece to unprecedented levels and caused huge damage to the commercial operations of the Greek Super League with fans walking away from attending club matches as confidence waned in the integrity of the league.

The 28 acquitted are as follows:

Vangelis Marinakis (owner of PAE Olympiacos)

George Sarris (former president of EPO)

Theodoros Kouridis (former legal advisor of EPO)

Aris Stathopoulos (former vice president of EPO)

Giannis Papakonstantinou (former vice president of EPO)

Nikos Prountzos (former member of the Board of EPO)

George Douros (former chief referee)

Thanasis Briakos (former member of KED)

Costas Ioannidis (former Super League referee)

Giannis Kampaxis (former Super League referee)

Apostolos Ambarkiolis (former Super League referee)

Alexandros Dimitropoulos (former Super League referee)

Thanasis Giachos (former Super League referee)

Elias Spathas (former Super League referee)

George Arvanitidis (former owner of PAE Veria)

George Lanaris (former general leader of Veria)

Ricardo Sa Pinto (former Atromitos coach)

Costas Barbas (former football player of Veria)

Dimitris Amarantidis (former football player of Veria)

Elias Ioannou (former football player of Veria)

Alexandros Kalogeris (former football player of Veria)

Dimitris Manos (former football player of Veria)

Charalambos Pavlidis (former football player of Veria)

George Skatharoudis (former football player of Veria)

Perez Moreno (former football player of Veria)

George Spanos (owner of PAE Atromitos)

Giannis Angelopoulos (technical director of Atromitos)

Giannis Kompotis (former owner of PAE Levadiakos)

Source: Ioannis Daras| AIPS Vice President