Last Update 10:22
Saturday, 24 March 2018

Greek League says suspension of matches a "grave danger" to clubs

Reuters , Tuesday 13 Mar 2018
Paok president Ivan Savvidis (C) reacts by the pitch, after the referee refused to allow PAOK a last
Paok president Ivan Savvidis (C) reacts by the pitch, after the referee refused to allow PAOK a last minute goal on March 11, 2018 (AFP)
Views: 231
Views: 231

Greece's top division on Tuesday opposed the suspension of all Superleague soccer fixtures over crowd trouble, saying it threatened the clubs' very existence.

Greece had indefinitely suspended matches after the owner of the club PAOK Salonika, Ivan Savvides, was filmed wearing a gun holster as he strode onto the pitch to protest about a disallowed goal against AEK Athens on Sunday.

The game was abandoned and later awarded to PAOK following a controversial goal that had prompted the initial protests by PAOK officials.

"The suspension does not bring anything," Superleague President Giorgos Stratos told reporters after meeting Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Georgios Vassiliadis.

"It creates a grave danger and we are possibly moving away from our aims and objectives."

"The suspension does not benefit anyone or anything. The suspension cancels out anything positive that has been done. The suspension endangers the entire sport of football beyond the financial consequences."

Stratos said he had asked for the "quickest possible resumption" of matches but no date had been yet decided.

Greek soccer has been plagued by pitch invasions and violence on and off the pitch for years and authorities have repeatedly promised to clean up the game.

However, attendances have dwindled and this season only four clubs in the 16-team top division have posted average attendances of more than 5,000 spectators per league game.

PAOK boss Savvides, a former member of the Russian State Duma, was accompanied by bodyguards as he angrily walked onto the pitch at Thessaloniki twice, once wearing an overcoat, the second time with the coat off and his holster in plain view. He did not pull out a weapon.

PAOK were later awarded a 1-0 win after the referee reversed his decision two hours after the game and allowed the goal, while police want to question Savvides for unauthorised entry to the soccer pitch.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.