Papa free to focus on Roar quest

AVRAAM Papadopoulos has received a huge boost ahead of Brisbane Roar’s A-League season-opener at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, with the tough defender cleared of illegally betting on matches during his time with Greek club Olympiacos.

Papadopoulos was in March slapped with a suspended two- and-a-half year jail sentence by a Greek court for his alleged role in “Koriopolis”, the match-fixing scandal that rocked Greek football in 2011.

It has been a tough period for Papadopoulos. (Albert Perez/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Having always maintained his innocence, Papadopoulos appealed the verdict.

And his decision was justified, with Greek website SDNA reporting late on Friday night that five-person appeals court dropped illegal betting charges against Papadopoulos, meaning his suspended jail sentence was quashed.

The Roar defender can now fully focus on the new season. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“I’m very happy,” 33-year-old Papadopoulos told The Sunday Mail on the eve of the Roar’s round one clash with Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium today.

“Everyone who knows me knows that I have a very clear character, and that I’d never do something wrong such as this.

“From the first moment, I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong.

“I’m very happy for the people who trusted me and believed me like the boss (Roar coach John Aloisi), and the all the Brisbane Roar family.”

Aloisi said he never doubted Papadopoulos’ innocence.

“I always believed what he was telling me, and he told me he did nothing wrong, so I trust him,” Aloisi said.

“He’s a good person, and good people, I’ll fight for them forever. I stood by Avraam because I believed in him and I know that he wouldn’t lie to me.

“I know that he’s going to be in for a good season because good things end up coming to good people.”


HAL opener ends in draw0:00

A-League: Adelaide United and Sydney FC shared the spoils in the opening game of the new season with goals to Scott Galloway and Adam Le Fondre.

poulos said having his name cleared would allow him to properly concentrate on leading the Roar’s defence.

“This is done, and now I want to focus on the season and my team,” the Melbourne-born former Greek international said.

“We’ll give everything for a win (over the Mariners). We’ve prepared well. We are ready for the season.”

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Originally published as Papa free to focus on Roar quest

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