The lowdown on Greece’s three football trials
Decisions on three separate Super League matches are still ongoing, with no final call made concerning the Olympiacos - AEK, PAOK - Olympiacos and PAOK - AEK fixtures which caused plenty of controversy across Europe. AGONAsport looks at the current state of play.
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Olympiacos - AEK
In early February, Olympiacos hosted AEK at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, losing 1:2 after conceding two goals in the final minutes. Several Thrylos fans forced their way onto the pitch when the teams were heading down the tunnel, hurling flares and debris at riot police. Olympiacos were initially handed a three-point deduction and a two-match stadium ban, but their appeal is still ongoing. A final decision was due this week after Olympiacos were granted more time to present evidence to support their case, however in the wake of the PAOK - AEK scandal, the matter is yet to be closed. Nevertheless, a decision is expected next week.
PAOK - Olympiacos
PAOK hosted Olympiacos at the Toumba Stadium on February 25, but the match never began. Olympiacos head coach Oscar Garcia was struck in the mouth by a flying object from the crowd, forcing the game to be abandoned. The Disciplinary Committee handed PAOK a 0:3 defeat, a three-point deduction and two matches behind closed doors, but the decision was overturned by the Appeals Court. In the end, PAOK got their three points back and were allowed to host their next two home games with fans. The technical 0:3 loss to Olympiacos still stood though, angering the Dikefalos tou Vorra. PAOK submitted a second appeal, this time asking for the game with Olympiacos to be replayed. Naturally, Olympiacos objected. As a result, another hearing is scheduled for March 21.
PAOK - AEK
Last Sunday, in the final minute of a bad-tempered PAOK - AEK clash in Thessaloniki, PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis and sporting director Lubos Michel made a pitch invasion after the hosts had a late goal ruled out for offside. Images clearly displayed Savvidis possessing a gun attached to his waist. The disgraceful incident forced the Greek government to suspend the Super League, and FIFA representative Herbert Hubel was summoned to a meeting in Athens with talk of the Hellenic Football Federation leaving FIFA and UEFA. On Friday, the first hearing took place. Referee Georgios Kominis will now provide a written account of what happened at the Toumba Stadium within the next 48 hours, the two clubs will be informed during another set of 48 hours, and then a decision will be taken from Wednesday onwards. Despite AEK refusing to play the final minutes of the match, the Disciplinary Committee have blamed PAOK for the game’s abandonment. PAOK’s possible punishments include a 0:3 loss to AEK, a three-point deduction, several matches behind closed doors and even relegation.
It also remains to be seen what punishment PAOK boss Savvidis receives for invading the field of play with a firearm at his disposal. According to the rules, he could be given a fine of 50 thousand euros and be banned from football stadiums between three and five years. The same goes for sporting director Michel.
Both UEFA and FIFA are pushing for PAOK and Savvidis to be punished in the next ten days.