PAOK suspended from the ECA
In the wake of Sunday’s chaotic scenes in Thessaloniki during a hugely important Super League clash between PAOK and AEK, the Dikefalos tou Vorra have been suspended from the European Club Association (ECA).
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The ECA is the sole, independent body directly representing football clubs at European level. In 2008, it was founded to replace the former G-14 Group and the European Club Forum and the ECA is fully recognised by UEFA and FIFA. The organisation aims to protect, represent, safeguard and promote the interests of European football clubs. PAOK were one of the 200 clubs registered with the association, but following the debacle against AEK, the ECA released this following statement:
“ECA strongly condemns the behaviour of PAOK FC President, Ivan Savvidis, who invaded the field of play armed with a gun during the Greek Superleague match between PAOK FC and AEK Athens on Sunday 11th March.
In light of this, and in accordance with the ECA Statutes, the ECA Executive Board unanimously decided to suspend, with immediate effect, PAOK FC as member of the European Club Association.
ECA exists to protect the integrity and regularity of competitions and matches as well as the sporting values and principles on which European football is based.
The suspension remains valid until further notice and shall be reported to the ECA General Assembly in Rome on 27th March 2018.”
Nevertheless, despite the world condemning president Ivan Savvidis’ behaviour at the Toumba Stadium, several PAOK players have come out in support of the club owner. Vieirinha, Dimitris Pelkas, Djalma Campos and Alexandros Paschalakis all defended Savvidis with posts on Instagram, stating the club’s togetherness. According to reports from Sport24, FIFA and UEFA will be present at a meeting in Athens on Wednesday to discuss Sunday’s events in Thessaloniki.