Greek Super league has been suspended when the key soccer match between PAOK Salonika and AEK Athens held at Toumba Stadium ended due to a very unusual incident which also caused a lot of chaos. Greek football club owner Ivan Savvidis rushed in the pitch with a handgun in a holster on his waist and threatened the match official Georgios Kominis.
The PAOK Salonika president invaded the pitch with a gun along with his bodyguards because a goal was disallowed due to offside when the match score was 0-0. This overruled goal was attempted by PAOK defender Fernando Varela.
Savvidis rushed inside the pitch to protest the decision made by the referee. But the situation of panic was created when Savvidis’ waist had a holster loaded with a handgun. Immediately, the opposition team (AEK Athens) went inside and didn’t return as the clock was near 90 minutes. Later, the officials abandoned the match after two hours and stated that the remaining game was to be played later.
In the 89th minute of the game, when the goal was called off because of offside, Savvadin, accompanied by two of his bodyguards swarmed towards the referee. Though he didn’t harm anyone but he was pulled off. Savvadin asked his team to go inside.
The local police have been seeking Ivan Savvidis to arrest him after issuing an arrest warrant against him and four other people. Skai TV claims that the warrant was issued because Savvadis invaded the pitch area. The FIFA has warned Greece because of this incident and threatened to suspend Greece. FIFA also recommended solving this with national governing bodies’ help to take rapid appropriate measures. UEFA also condemned this incident. FIFA is strict and is carefully supervising the proceedings of this incident because of previous records of match-fixing and other scandals in Greek football.
According to a statement issued by FIFA, “Fifa is aware of the incident. First of all, Fifa fully condemns such behavior. 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.”
According to PAOK Salonika’s statement, the club president Savvidis is trying his best to save the club from this unfortunate incident. Although they did not force upon the involvement of handgun.
It is to be noted that PAOK has abandoned another match in past when the head coach was stricken by a roll thrown from the stands during the kickoff.
Georgios Vassiliadis, Deputy culture and sports minister of Greece said, “We have decided to suspend the Championship indefinitely”. According to the statements, the superleague won’t be started again unless there is a sign of complete smoothness of competition and a clear framework.
Who is Ivan Savvadis?
Ivan Savvadis is one of the wealthiest men of Greece and Russia. He was a parliamentary member of Russia and is near to Vladimir Putin. He is also the president of the Greek football club PAOK Salonika.