The world reacts to the PAOK - AEK debacle
It’s not just Greece in shock after Sunday’s disgraceful incident during the PAOK - AEK Super League match in Thessaloniki. The entire footballing world is talking about the unsavoury event at the Toumba Stadium, with the media focusing on PAOK president Ivan Savvidis’ threatening behaviour.
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In a featured article, AGONAsport looks at the reactions of several media outlets from all over the world following the chaos.
Guardian (England): “Greek football match stopped after team owner invades pitch with a gun”
Popular English newspaper The Guardian immediately put the emphasis on Savvidis’ pitch invasion, pointing out that he entered the field of play with a gun.
Sun (England): “PAOK and AEK Athens ends 1-0 after referee awards goal TWO HOURS after pitch invasion by gun-carrying President Ivan Savvidis”
The Sun was shocked by the amount of time it took for referee Georgios Kominis to award Fernando Varela’s goal after it was initially waved off for offside.
Mail (England): “PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis marches onto the pitch carrying a GUN after late goal is disallowed against AEK Athens and tells ref: “You’re Finished”
Under the headline, The Mail stated that the match had finished 0:0, however Kominis stated that PAOK’s goal was valid when writing his game report. Once again, Savvidis’ weapon was the main subject of the piece.
Marca (Spain): “PAOK’s president invades the pitch to protest a goal ruled off after 90 minutes...with a pistol!!”
In Spain, Marca was understandably shocked by Savvidis’ gun, posting an enlarged image of the weapon strapped onto the PAOK president’s belt.
AS (Spain): “PAOK president accused of intimidating the referee with a gun during a game”
On its official website, AS published a video of the incident along with a headline about the PAOK boss approaching the referee in a threatening manner.
Sport (Spain): “PAOK’s president invades the pitch with a pistol”
Catalonian publication Sport also refused to let the events in Thessaloniki go unnoticed, attaching a video to the article like AS.
Kicker (Germany): “Complete chaos in Greece: a derby match is cancelled”
In Germany, Kicker naturally stated that complete chaos erupted at the Toumba Stadium during the highly anticipated PAOK - AEK encounter.
Bild Sport (Germany): “With a pistol on the pitch: PAOK’s boss attacks the referee”
Bild Sport, another famous print organisation in Germany, documented Savvidis’ aggressive actions on the pitch.
Gazzetta (Italy): “In Greece, PAOK’s leader enters the pitch to protest with a gun”
Italy’s biggest sports newspaper Gazzetta uploaded a video with Ivan Savvidis charging onto the pitch with his bodyguards for company.
L’Equipe (France): “Interruptions, threats and chaos at the PAOK - AEK match in Thessaloniki”
In France, L’Equipe made a statement that the strange events at the Toumba Stadium were surreal, a word which many would use to associate with the event.
A Bola (Portugal): “PAOK’s president enters the pitch with weapons”
Another organisation focusing mainly on Ivan Savvidis, Portugal’s A Bola put an emphasis on the PAOK president’s weapon on show.
Ole (Argentina): “The president made an invasion with a gun!”
The news even reached far-away Argentina, as the Ole publication reported that Savvidis’ came sprinting in the direction of the referee following the disallowed PAOK goal.
New York Times (USA): “Greek Game Abandoned after ‘armed’ owner protests decision”
In America, the New York Times pointed out that Savvidis never reached for his weapon when on the pitch. The newspaper also noted AEK’s intentions to talk about the scandal with UEFA and FIFA.
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia): “Pistol-packing PAOK owner invades pitch after late winner chalked off”
Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald published a story on its website covering the chaos in Thessaloniki, describing the PAOK owner as a “pistol packer.”