Greek league suspended as PAOK president confronts referee with gun

Mar 13, 2018, 07:34
Greek league suspended as PAOK president confronts referee with gun

Olympiakos have won the last seven championships under the ownership of Greek shipowner Vangelis Marinakis, who, like Savvidis, is one of Greece's most prominent businessmen.

"We have made a decision to interrupt the championship ..."

Sunday's Greek Super League clash between PAOK Thessaloniki and AEK Athens was abandoned when the president of the home side marched onto the pitch with a gun in his pocket.

The decision sparked chaos on the pitch at Toumba Stadium; PAOK players remonstrated with Kominis over his decision to deny a goal, which would have seen their side move to just two points behind league leaders AEK.

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Subsequently, AEK accused the PAOK president of having threatened the referee, Giorgos Cominos, when he entered the field, carrying a pistol in his holster.

Tensions were high with the match still goalless between Greece's rivals deep into the second-half, but PAOK thought they had come away with three points as Fernando Varela found the back of the net in the 89th minute.

"We have made a decision to suspend the Championship indefinitely", Greece's Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Georgios Vassiliadis told National Greek broadcaster ERT following a meeting with the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

According to Reuters, the gun was holstered around Savvides waist, and he was surrounded by bodyguards. "We have achieved much, but much remains to be done", the Greek official said. After this latest incident, Greek Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Georgios Vassiliadis stood by the suspension.

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However, firearms reportedly are prohibited in Greek soccer stadiums, even in the case of on-duty police officers.

UEFA and FIFA condemned the events at PAOK versus AEK but maintain any disciplinary measures to be imposed fall under the jurisdiction of the Greek Football Federation (HFF).

Olympiakos itself is appealing a decision that had deducted three points from the team for fan behaviour in a February 4 home game against AEK, which it lost 2-1. He carries weapons as he has a permission for it.

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