PAOK point finger at Olympiacos in Toumba scandal
PAOK Thessaloniki missed a golden opportunity to eliminate Olympiacos from the Super League title race on Sunday, as their battle against the Piraeus outfit was called off before a ball was kicked.
As the teams emerged on to the pitch in front of a raucous Toumba Stadium, Olympiacos head coach Oscar Garcia was hit by a paper roll from a cash register which was chucked from the stands. The Spaniard was immediately taken into the dressing room for treatment, then being transferred to a hospital where he will stay for the night. Around two hours after the incident, the match was eventually called off, a decision which sparked huge face offs between police and fans outside of the ground.
Among PAOK, there is a feeling that Olympiacos simply refused to play the match as to gain an easy three points without having to show any effort. PAOK defender Fernando Varela posted this following message on his Instagram account later in the evening: “I believe take all week to training this show! Shame. If no desire to play in this amazing atmosphere...better leave football!” He also added that he can now “understand how Olympiacos take titles.” Varela’s words clearly suggest that he believes Olympiacos staged the incident to force PAOK into receiving a points deduction.
Teammate Jose Angel Crespo said this on his own Instagram page: “After today Donald Trump prohibit the toilet paper in EEUU because it’s more dangerous than firearms. The fear is more dangerous.”
As previously reported on AGONAsport, PAOK press spokesman Kyriakos Kyriakou accused Olympiacos of planning their actions in advance and creating a reason to prevent the match from going ahead.
However, Olympiacos press communications officer Kostas Karapapas had a different version of events: “We were waiting for an apology connected to the events which involved our coach,” stated Karapapas. “You saw the object which hit him, it was a paper roll used for cash registers. When that travels from above, it can really hurt. We aren’t doctors. We were waiting for a large apology from PAOK.”
In the evening, a diagnosis was given to Garcia’s injury. There is damage to the inside of the 44-year old’s upper lip, he is currently experiencing neck pain and feels dizzy and nauseous. Possible punishments awaiting PAOK will soon become clear.