FIFA threaten the EPO with suspension
Sunday’s disgrace in Thessaloniki could have severe consequences for Greece. Football’s world governing body FIFA have now got involved in the situation, even threatening to suspend the Hellenic Football Association (EPO).
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Following PAOK president Ivan Savvidis’ shock pitch invasion during the PAOK - AEK game at the Toumba Stadium after the hosts had Fernando Varela’s goal waved off, FIFA issued a statement on Monday suggesting that a huge punishment for the EPO could be in store if this mess isn’t cleared up correctly. Photographs from Thessaloniki displayed Savvidis storing a gun around his waist.
FIFA’s public statement is as follows: “The FIFA monitoring committee responsible for overseeing the EPO strongly condemns the recent incidents in Greece and urges all national football stakeholders to act immediately to put an end to the unacceptable situation arising in Greek football.
Even though the recent incidents occured in the context of a national competition, meaning that disciplinary measures fall under the jurisdiction of the competent judicial bodies of the Hellenic Football Federation, the FIFA monitoring committee is closely following the situation.
At the same time, the FIFA monitoring committee has been informed of the government’s decision to temporarily suspend the 2017/2018 Super League season.
Failure to take proper actions by the competent bodies to eradicate all sorts of violence in order to guarantee the smooth running of national competitions would oblige FIFA to refer the case to the FIFA council for consideration and possible sanctions, including the suspension of the member association.”
UEFA, Europe’s main football organisation, also condemned the incident and stated that any disciplinary measures must be taken by the EPO. With no Super League matches set to take place until at least March 31, the powers that be have the opportunity to hand out the right punishments which will allow for the season to resume. Five rounds remain in the championship with AEK currently leading with 54 points, two more than second placed PAOK.