Violence: Greek club face relegation

Posted on Mar 16 2018 - 8:33pm by admin

DISGRACED Greek side PAOK could be relegated after crazed owner Ivan Savvidis invaded a match after a controversial ref’s decision appearing to carry a gun, The Sun reports.

The 58-year-old marched onto the field of play after his side had a goal ruled out against AEK Athens in the 89th minute — sparking a mass pitch invasion and the game to be abandoned.

Greece’s football prosecutor Konstantinos Simitzoglou laid charges based on Article 19 which states a team could be relegated in the event of intimidation or threats towards match officials.

A lesser punishment could be a hefty fine and a points deduction after the shameful scenes after their match with the league leaders.

Savvidas — a Georgia-born Greek-Russian businessman and alleged friend of Vladimir Putin — faces a fine and a ban from soccer for three to five years for threatening match officials.

The shocking actions of Savvidis has led to all of the Greek top-flight matches to be suspended, with Deputy Sports Minister Giorgos Vassiliadis confirming the ban on Monday following talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Issuing a statement on the PAOK website, the former member of the Russian parliament apologised but declared he did NOT threaten anybody.

He said,  “I wish to apologise to all PAOK supporters, Greek fans and the international football community.

“I am deeply sorry for what happened. I had absolutely no right to enter the pitch the way I did.

“My emotional reaction stems from the widespread negative situations prevailing in Greek football lately and from all the unacceptable, non-sports related events that took place towards the end of the PAOK — AEK Athens encounter: the actions of the referee and his assistant (goal — offside — goal), the match suspension, the protests and invasion on the pitch by many people from both sides.”

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