FIFA chief officially recommends football “Grexit” for Greece
Greece is set to be banned from international football competition after it was revealed on Thursday that FIFA’s monitoring committee has recommended the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) be suspended without a grace period.
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Herbert Hubel, the chairman of FIFA’s monitoring committee, which was set up in July last year to keep an eye on developments in Greece, has made the recommendation in a letter to the FIFA executive committee and EPO.
While this does not represent a final decision, the recommendation will be officially put to the Council of National Football Associations in May.
Local media in Greece published the letter sent by Hubel, which was the subject of intense discussions between EPO officials and Ivan Vela, another FIFA representative from the monitoring in Athens on Thursday
Vela said that the various posts on social media from club officials did not help Greece’s situation, saying that these continuously “added fuel to the flames”.
“The monitoring committee unanimously recommends the immediate suspension of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) from FIFA,” said Hubel is his letter.
“We ask that the FIFA member committee examine without delay the current situation in Greek football and within the EPO, and put the case to the FIFA executive committee for discussion,” he added.
If EPO and the Greek government do not make good on their promises to implement new measures to curb the violence and unsavoury behavior which has plagued the domestic football season this season by that time, then there is a strong possibility that Hubel’s recommendation will be applied.
Football in Greece will restart this weekend after a two week temporary suspension was put in place following a spate of violent incidents at derby matches involving some of the country’s top clubs.
EPO president Evangelos Grammenos has also denied reports that he will quit his role following increasing pressure.
He has promised that there will be written pledges from all responsible parties to end violence in and outside stadiums and safeguard security, while new security and stricter punishments will be put in place.
While Greek football has been perennially plagued by violence and allegations of match-fixing, this season has seen unprecedented events with the owner of championship contenders PAOK stormed the pitch with a holstered gun at his belt.
Greek-Russian businessman Ivan Savvidis has been heavily fined and suspended from entering stadiums for 3 years, while PAOK have been handed a five-point deduction penalty; three points will be removed from this season’s standings while two will be removed next season.
The consequences of a footballing Grexit will be devastating for Greece’s football scene.
Here is a breakdown of the major implications:
WHAT GREXIT MEANS FOR TEAMS
- No national teams, of any gender or age, will be able to compete in international competitions. This means that Greece’s senior team will not be eligible to participate in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, as well as in the Nations League.
- No Greek club will be eligible to participate in the Champions League or the Europa League. This will no doubt have a negative effect on the prestige of Greek teams in Europe, while many players will look to move to other clubs.
- No international friendlies, inside or outside Greece’s borders, will be allowed.
- No transfers of foreign footballers to Greece will be allowed, nor Greek players abroad.
WHAT GREXIT MEANS AT ECONOMIC LEVEL
- Television Broadcasters and sponsors are likely to stop paying for a championship that will simply have a domestic champion. Clubs will face serious financial problems, as revenues from TV rights, as well as participation in European competitions in general, have helped them to survive.
- As far as the EPO is concerned, it “earns” EUR 5,000,000 annually from UEFA and FIFA, while the total turnover is within the range of 20,000,000 to 22,000,000 euros, since, beyond the European revenues, there is also the money it receives for the Greek Cup (€ 2,500,000), as well as revenue from the sponsors and also from the fines of the teams. Generally, revenue reaches up to €10,000,000 per year.
WHAT GREXIT MEANS ABOUT THE SEA
- loses the ability to participate and vote in the FIFA Congress
- loses the possibility to participate and vote in the UEFA Congress
- can not make proposals for the FIFA and UEFA congress agenda
- Can not nominate candidates for FIFA presidency, UEFA, as well as members of European and world committees
- Will not be able to participate in FIFA development programs
- Lost all rights of UEFA and FIFA members.