Penalties that could be facing PAOK & AEK
AGONAsport takes a look at the possible penalties that both PAOK and AEK are facing after the chaotic scenes in the abandoned top of the table clash in Thessaloniki between the two sides on Sunday night.
PAOK’s Fernando Varela’s 89th minute goal appeared to win the game for the hosts, but it was later ruled out after it was deemed that Mauricio obstructed the AEK goalkeeper, Vasilios Barkas, from an offside position.
After long discussions between match referee Georgios Kominis and the linesman, the goal was then deemed legitimate and then all havoc broke loose at the Toumba stadium with PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis storming onto the pitch sporting a gun in a holster with his bodyguards.
Kominis was left with no choice but to order the players off the pitch and predictably, they never returned to finish the match.
AEK Athens players and officials claim that Savvidis threatened the match referee when he was on the pitch, however there are no reports of threats from Savvidis targeted towards the referee in the official match report.
However, PAOK’s Sports Director, Lubos Michel, did threaten Kominis saying “You are finished today”, which is noted by Kominis in the official match report - which can be found here. The match report will be sent to the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) and then a decision will be made on what punishments will be handed out.
According to the disciplinary regulations, if found guilty, Savvidis and Michel could face severe penalties for their actions under articles 19 and 20 of the Disciplinary Code, while PAOK could even be threatened with relegation.
Article 19 states any person found to be intimidating or threatening a match official or any “official” football affiliated person (ex. coach), will be punished with a fine of at least €50,000 and could face a ban from entering any stadium for between 3-5 years.
Under Article 20, anyone who uses violence, or attempts to influence an official, or prevents them from acting freely in their duties, will be punished with a fine of €60,000 euros and a ban from entering a pitch for at least 5 years.
Also, if a team - in this case PAOK - is found guilty of any of the actions above, the team could face the following: supporter ban for several matches, high fines, point deductions, and even relegation.
PAOK are not the only team facing possible disciplinary measures, however, as the match report also states that AEK refused to play out the rest of the game, for fear of entering the pitch under the circumstances.
While the club’s official announcement was clear: “We don’t play football with any guns around,” their refusal to play out the match could have dire consequences. If the club is accused and then convicted of this, then they could be handed the following punishment: a 3:0 loss to PAOK, and a deduction of up to 10 points.
One thing is sure. There is much, much more to this farcical story as the official outcome and penalties from this shameful incident will be decided in court - something which is sadly becoming a recurring theme in the SuperLeague this season.