Avraam Papadopoulos has become the first A-League player to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal in 2018 after he was handed a suspended jail sentence for illegally betting on football matches.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.
Papadopoulos joined players from the NRL, AFL and Super Rugby as a nominee for the prestigious award after it was revealed that a Greek court had given him a two and a half year suspended jail sentence for betting on matches while playing for Olympiakos.
The Brisbane Roar defender is one of a number of players investigated for alleged match fixing in the Greek football league, but denies the allegations.
His chances of winning The Frownlow Medal this year increased when he was suspended for seven A-League matches for spitting at an opposing player during a game against Sydney FC.
Papadopoulos will learn his fate later this year when the winner of The Frownlow Medal is announced.
First published in March, 2017.