UEFA still monitoring prospective new Forest owner over match-fixing claims as deal edges closer

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Marinakis' takeover of Nottingham Forest is still being assessed by the EFL.

UEFA has confirmed it is still monitoring ongoing match fixing claims against Evangelos Marinakis as the Greek tycoon reportedly edges closer to a takeover of Nottingham Forest.

The proposal is still being assessed by the English Football League, which must sign off any deal for the businessman and shipping magnate to take control of the City Ground.

Marinakis, who also owns Greek Super League side Olympiacos, has long been linked with a buy-out of current Forest owner and Chairman Fazwaz Al Hasawi, and is thought to be days away from completion.

It was reported last year that Olympiacos and Marinakis were both being investigated by Greek authorities over claims of domestic match-fixing, and that European football body UEFA was monitoring the case.

UEFA told Notts TV on Tuesday it is still keeping tabs on the allegations, which Marinakis and Olympiacos have always denied.

A spokesman said: “UEFA can confirm that official contacts were established with the office of the Athens Court of Appeal’s General Prosecutor in order to closely monitor the ongoing investigations in Athens.

“The UEFA disciplinary bodies would not hesitate to take firm sanctions should any UEFA club or official violate the UEFA disciplinary regulations at any moment in time, provided there are valid proofs of such wrongdoings.

“At this stage of the proceedings, neither the Hellenic Football Federation nor the criminal courts in Athens have rendered any final decision against Mr Marinakis or the club Olympiacos.

“At this stage, UEFA will not make further comments.”

Al Hasawi said the takeover was “99 per cent” complete after Forest escaped relegation on the final day of the Championship season.

But Marinakis’ takeover of the club cannot be completed until he passes the EFL’s owners’ and directors’ test.

An EFL spokesman told Notts TV: “The body does does not comment on takeovers.”

But a representative was quoted by the BBC as saying: “A change of control at Nottingham Forest is currently being assessed by the EFL Executive within the context of our regulations.”

It is understood the presence of the Greek domestic investigation is unlikely to put a stop to the takeover in the EFL’s eyes because Marinakis has not been convicted of a crime and nothing has been proven in court.

However, UEFA only requires what it considers ‘valid proof’ – rather than a criminal conviction – to issue sanctions against clubs or club officials.

Olympiacos and Marinakis did not respond to a request for further comment, but both have previously been reported to have strenuously denied all the claims.

 

 

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