Club president invades pitch with gun
A Greek Superleague match between PAOK and AEK Athens was postponed on Sunday after PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis entered the pitch carrying a gun, Skysports reports.
The incident led Greece’s sports minister Giorgos Vasileiadis to suspend the Superleague indefinitely, reaching the decision on Monday after a meeting with the country’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Vasileiadis said the league would not restart “if there is not a new, clear framework agreed to by all so we can move forward with conditions and regulations”.
Savvidis interrupted the match to protest a decision after Fernando Varela’s late winner for the hosts was disallowed for offside in the 90th minute.
The PAOK owner came onto the field twice accompanied by his bodyguards and on the second occasion appeared to be carrying a gun in a holster on his hip.
The Greek-Russian businessman had to be restrained while confronting referee Giorgios Kominis, and the match was subsequently abandoned two hours later with the AEK players refusing to return to the field.
Reports in Greece claim Kominis changed his decision to allow the goal for PAOK, and the Greek Super League website currently has the result listed as a 1-0 win for the home side.
Should the result stand, PAOK will cut the gap to AEK at the top of the table to just two points. AEK boss Manolo Jimenez appeared to confirm PAOK had been handed the 1-0 win by Kominis.
“Right now we are leaving the stadium escorted by the police,” Jimenez told OndaCero.
“The referee has invalidated the goal of PAOK for offside, there was a brawl of players and many people entered the field, including their president with bodyguards.
“After the invasion, the referee has gone inside and after two hours wanted to resume. We said no. The shame is that in the end the referee has given them the goal, after all that has happened.”
Football’s governing body, FIFA, has condemned the incident and says punishment will be decided by the Football Association in Greece.
FIFA said: “Given that this incident occurred in the context of a national competition, any disciplinary measure to be imposed falls under the jurisdiction of the deciding bodies of the Greek FA.”
PAOK are third in the Greek top flight and the win would have taken them to within two points of leaders AEK.