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Bogus football coaches feel the squeeze

Sixty employees in the public sector are set to face disciplinary and criminal investigations for allegedly moonlighting as football coaches after hours.

The Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides and the Labour Ministry have initiated parallel investigations in light of accusations against specific individuals employed in the public sector, semi-government organizations and in local councils who moonlight as football coaches in various categories and football club academies.

The list of names was released to the House and the parliamentary parties as well as to the Inland Revenue, Social Security Services, the Cyprus Football Association, The Pancyprian Football Academies Federation and the Cyprus Football Coaches Association.

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The list, is, according to its authors – who are professional football coaches, just a sample of the magnitude of the problem and contains the names of police officers, teachers, military personnel, firemen, CYTA and EAC employees and others as well as the teams that each one of them coach.

In a letter that accompanied the list, its authors charge that public sector employees have a steady income and in most cases are high-income earners and thus accepting a lower pay to coach the teams.

They are accused of allowing monthly contracts of ridiculously low amounts (€20 and €50 per month have been noted) to be submitted to the Cyprus Football Association in order to avoid taxation and for clubs to save on obligations to the state such as social security contributions etc.

The clubs are also accused of using such coaches as they pay less and that they have the upper hand with regards to dismissals while a certain amount of blackmail is at hand as the clubs can also threaten to expose them to the authorities for having a second job.

Michaelides has notified the various ministries and their departments of the list and has given instructions to be notified as to the accuracy of the list with regards to the employment of the people mentioned by September 15 the latest.

Any names confirmed to be public workers will be investigated to determine whether they have been given the necessary permission to work a second job according to the relevant legislation.

Any persons found to be in contravention of regulations will face disciplinary charges while it will be determined if there are grounds for criminal charges with regards to tax evasion and failure to submit social security contributions.

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