AEK confirmed Greek champions after unsuccessful PAOK appeal
AEK Athens’ Super League crown was confirmed on Monday, as PAOK’s punishment for the chaos witnessed during a clash between the two clubs in Thessaloniki wasn’t changed.
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In the dying moments of the PAOK - AEK showdown in Thessaloniki, Fernando Varela appeared to have given the hosts a vital victory, but the goal was eventually ruled out for offside. Angered by the decision, PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis and sporting director Lubos Michel charged onto the pitch, resulting in the game being abandoned. PAOK were initially given a punishment of a 0:3 defeat, a three-point deduction from the current standings, three matches behind closed doors and an additional two-point deduction from the 2018/2019 Super League table. Savvidis was banned from entering football stadiums for three years.\
PAOK naturally appealed the decision, but the Dikefalos tou Vorra didn’t get the result they wanted. On Monday, the Hellenic Football Federation’s Appeals Committee unanimously agreed that the following punishments should be imposed on PAOK:
0:3 defeat to AEK;
Three-point deduction from the 2017/2018 Super League table;
Two-point deduction from the 2018/2019 Super League table;
100,000 fine for Ivan Savvidis and stadium ban for three years;
15,000 fine for Lubos Michel and stadium ban for three months;
Three home matches behind closed doors and a fine of 63,000.
The Thessaloniki outfit were punished severely after club owner Savvidis, who was storing a gun around his waist, threatened the safety of AEK’s players on the pitch. Savvidis aggressive behaviour was the sole reason why referee Giorgos Kominis halted the match, something which was PAOK’s responsibility and led up to the team being penalised. According to reports from Greece, when Kominis whistled in the tunnel, it was for the players to enter the dressing room and not for the game to restart. This conclusion was based upon video footage provided by PAOK from the Toumba Stadium.
As a result, AEK boast an eight point advantage in first place and cannot be caught in the remaining two matches:
AEK, 66 points
PAOK, 58 points
Olympiacos, 54 points
Atromitos, 50 points
However, PAOK do have the opportunity to launch a final appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). On Instagram, board of directors member Giorgos Savvidis posted a photo which suggested that PAOK are contemplating participation in the Greek Cup final, adding that an official announcement will be released in the coming days.