- Associated Press - Thursday, June 23, 2011

ATHENS, GREECE (AP) - Authorities identified the chairmen of two Greek topflight soccer clubs as suspects in Greek match-fixing probe on Thursday.

The chairmen of clubs Kalava and Volos were named among 10 suspects charged with participation in a criminal gang, money laundering and other corruption offenses.

The other identified suspects include second-division team officials, businessmen and bookmakers.

The investigation was launched after UEFA handed Greek authorities a report citing irregular betting patterns, mostly involving Greek Cup and Division 2 games in 2009 and 2010.

Volos finished fifth last season in the 16-team league, while Kalava was seventh. Judicial officials said no evidence had emerged so far implicating players of either team in the alleged match-fixing _ only the club officials.

They said a total of 85 people are under investigation including players, team officials, businessmen and others, but did not give further details.

Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, who oversees professional sport, said the probe was part of a broader anti-corruption drive led by the government.

“We have (pledged) to tackle the problems in football. There is a direct link between what is happening in football and broader Greek society,” he said. “This is were the money went: It went in the pockets of corrupt people. That’s the reality.”

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