Chaos in Basket League continues as Panathinaikos withdraw from the league

Chaos in Basket League continues as Panathinaikos withdraw from the league

In what was an off-the-court action packed finale in the Basket League, Panathinaikos forfeited their match to Kymi and withdrew from the Basket League all together after hooligans gathered at the house of referee Panagiotis Anastopoulos.

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Olympiacos, who are looking to leave the Basket League and move to the ABA League, were set to forfeit yet another Basket League game after referee Panagiotis Anastopoulos was appointed to take charge of Wednesday’s Olympiacos - Promitheas Patras battle in Piraeus. The Erythrolefki had previously stated that they will not play in a game in which Anastopoulos is officiating as Anastopoulos was one of the referees from the abandoned Greek Cup semi-final between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos. An Olympiacos forfeit against Promitheas would have resulted in automatic relegation to the A2 Basket League for the Erythrolefki.

On Tuesday evening, nearly a hundred hooligans gathered outside Anastopoulos’ house while chanting swears against him. As a result, Anastopoulos informed the Referees Union and the Greek Basketball Federation (EOK) that he will be unable to referee the game, for fears of his and his family’s life, and a replacement official (Alexandros Psarianos) took his place.

This caused an uproar from Panathinaikos on how the situation was handled as the Greens feel that Olympiacos are creating their own ways to get the referees they desire. Shortly after Anastopoulos’ withdrawal from Wednesday’s match, Panathinaikos released a statement in which they announced their withdrawal from all action in the Basket League, beginning with Wednesday’s match against Kymi.

“Panathinaikos will remain out of action starting with today’s game against Kymi until the legitimacy, not the terrorism and the lawlessness that Olympiacos seek to impose with the tolerance of the state, prevails again,” was how the announcement began.

The statement continued on demanding the punishment of Olympiacos and the Angelopoulos brothers while asking Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to relieve Deputy Minister of Sport and Culture, Giorgos Vasiliadis, from his duties.

The announcement concluded by saying “Until this takes place, Panathinaikos refuse to participate in a parody Championship where only the rules of terrorism are enforced.” The letter signed off with the phrase “It is either us or them.”

An emergency General Assembly has been scheduled by the ESAKE to discuss the shocking developments in the league. The playoffs, which are scheduled to begin on Sunday, will likely be postponed, however this will all be discussed in tomorrow’s meeting.

Panathinaikos stuck to their word and did not partake in their final Basket League regular season fixture at home to Kymi on Wednesday. The Trifylli were handed a 0:20 defeat, will be deducted six points from the league standings, and forced to pay an 8,000 euro fine.

The result means Kymi assure safety in the Basket League top flight while Lavrio were relegated despite their win over Ifaistos Limnou. Panathinaikos drop to third in the standings while AEK claim first place and Peristeri second place.

Olympiacos’ match against Promitheas took place as scheduled with the Erythrolefki winning rather easily with an 86:59 scoreline.As it is stads now, this third seed Panathinaikos will meet the sixth seed Olympiacos in the first round of the playoffs.


by Sarantos Kaperonis

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