- The Status of the Cup Final & SuperLeague Playoffs -
Days continue to pass and rather than problems being solved more issues continue to arise. A date has yet to be agreed upon for the Greek Cup Final, consequently creating scheduling problems for the upcoming SuperLeague playoffs. It does seem that the playoffs will start, as originally announced, on Wednesday.
First let us discuss the Greek Cup Final...The final was suppose to take place on Saturday, but was postponed by Deputy Minister of Athletics, Stavros Kontonis. The decision came after the Police department recommended for the game to not take place. Additionally, EPO did not uphold their agreement with Kontonis about the assistant referees for the game. More information here...Kontonis decided that the May 7th Cup Final will be postponed for at least 10 days. EPO then announced that the Final will take place Sunday May 15th, only 8 days after the original date, and with the same limitations that led to the postponing of the Cup Final. The new date seemed impractical for three reasons: EPO did not bother to change the assistant referees, May 15th was 8 days, not 10 days after May 7th, and the 15th conflicted with the SuperLeague Playoffs. Since EPO did not change the assistant referees or reschedule the final 10 days after May 7th, Kontonis announced yesterday that the Final will not take place on the 15th. What is the current status? According to gazzetta.gr, the new proposed date is May 18th. EPO seems to stand firm by their May 15th proposal, but they are considering the new date. Another date that has been rumored is June 2nd, which seems absurd for many reasons. The actual date is only the first barrier, as the federation will need to comply with Kontonis’ request to change the assistant referees.
When it seemed that the issue could not get anymore complicated, EPO refused to assign referees for Wednesday’s SuperLeague Playoff matches. This was EPO’s way of showing their dissatisfaction with Kontonis’ decision to not accept their proposal for the Cup Final’s new date, May 15th. This caused chaos in the league. Thankfully, EPO backed down and decided to assign referees for Wednesday’s matches. The decision came after fears of lawsuits and fines surrounded the federation. The playoffs are scheduled to start on tomorrow, Wednesday, but we will have to wait and see what will happen for Matchday 2. The second matchday is scheduled for Sunday May 15th, the same day EPO has recommended for the Cup Final to take place.
Today it became known that EPO President, Giorgios Girtzikis, is in Mexico for a meeting! With Greek Football hanging by a thread, Girtzikis attended the meeting rather than sending one of his co-workers from EPO. A joke, to say the least. According to sportfm.gr, it is rumored that Girtzikis might once again bring up the option of a soccer “Grexit” at the meeting in Mexico. EPO feels that Kontonis has violated FIFA’s self-governing policy and that Kontonis does not have the authority to assign referees or a new date for the Cup Final.
To conclude...the war between EPO and Stavros Kontonis continues and everything is one big “bahalo.” Stay tuned!!
*A reminder that all domestic competitions must be completed by May 30th due to the fact that players will return to their national teams as they prepare for UEFA Euro 2016.
Source: sportfm.gr; gazzetta.gr; Image Source: theotc.gr