PAOK and AEK to Face Hefty Punishments for Cup Violence
Greek Cup winners PAOK Thessaloniki and finalists AEK Athens are set to face heavy punishments, including the deduction of points, from the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) for the violent clashes between rival fans which marred the final.
Supporters from both clubs turned sections of the Panthessaliko stadium in Volos into a battleground last Saturday in ugly crowd violence which saw over 20 people arrested and several people hospitalized.
The violence in Volos was yet another sorry example of the worst of Greek football bringing more unwanted negative coverage from the international media, staining further the credibility of the game in the country which has already seemingly reached rock bottom.
And in an announcement on Thursday, the EPO look to have set out their stall to throw the book at both clubs, who have already been in trouble this season for crowd disturbances in Super League matches.
The EPO statement said: “The law enforcement agent of the EPO, Konstantinos Simitzoglou, has proceeded with prosecution charges against PAOK and AEK (relating to offences in the Greek Cup final on May 6 2017), as well as PAOK technical director Lubos Michel, for acts which come under the provision of disciplinary procedures according to Articles 1, 2, 3, 6 (3b), 11 (2), (3) Under No. 10 par. 1d. I, 14, 15 para 1a, par. 2, par. 3 A, B, par. 4A, B, par. B, e, par. A, b, c, (d for PAE.POC), e, f, paragraph 7 of the EPO Disciplinary Code,”
Although the above may seem at face value to be just a lot of letters and numbers, but the laws they cover are the vital factor.
According to the rule book, both teams will face financial penalties up to €120,000 and closed stadiums for 2-3 matches. The match bans could be enforced for the upcoming playoffs or next season.
Additionally, however, if as expected, the reports from the match observers, Nikos Vakalis and Panagiotis Diakofotis, state the fact that the clashes continued after the arrival of the two teams at the stadium, then PAOK and AEK will face heavier disciplinary action which will include the deduction of up to three points each – likely to be from next season.
PAOK, however, could face an additional three-point deduction – making their punishment a total of six points – for repeated incidents after their Greek Cup semi-final first leg against Olympiacos last season was abandoned due to a mass pitch invasion with PAOK losing 2-1.
The club were deducted five points and ordered to play five matches behind closed doors last season as part of a heavy punishment for that incident, while there was even more controversy when Ivan Savvidis decided to boycott the second leg match in protest and lost 3-0 on paper.