FIFA defends hiring lawyer of club linked to match-fixing

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it completed an “extensive and thorough” process before hiring the top lawyer of a club linked to match-fixing.

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FIFA says Theodore Giannikos, head of legal affairs at 43-time Greek champion Olympiakos, was recruited to work with member federations after “a review of his background in the football industry.”

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Giannikos is a Court of Arbitration for Sport judge and member of UEFA’s club competitions committee which helps oversee the Champions League.

He leaves Olympiakos after nine years, while club president Vangelis Marinakis awaits a criminal judicial panel’s decision on bringing charges in a match-fixing investigation.

Marinakis denies wrongdoing, and Giannikos is not implicated in the case.

As member services director, Giannikos will work with 211 federations including Greece, where FIFA has sent in an emergency management committee.