Greek Match Abandoned After Gun Toting Owner Storms Pitch

Greek Match Abandoned After Gun Toting Owner Storms Pitch
By Eoin Lyons
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PAOK Salonika played AEK Athens last night in the Greek top flight and there couldn't have been a more dramatic ending to the match.

With the score poised at 0-0 in the 89th minute PAOK Salonika had a goal ruled out for offside. Tempers boiled over on the sidelines and PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis took to the pitch with a gun and a holster at his side as he made his way to the referee.

AEK boss Manolo Jimenez claimed that PAOK had been awarded the goal after the incident. Speaking to Onda Cero Jimenez described the situation:

Right now we are leaving the stadium escorted by the police. The referee has invalidated the goal of PAOK for offside, there was a brawl of players and many people entered the field, including their president with bodyguards.

Greece's deputy culture and sports minister Georgios Vassiliadis said the situation called for "bold decisions" while FIFA  "fully condemns such behaviour"adding that any disciplinary measures would "fall under the jurisdiction of the Greek FA".


Savvidis, one of Greece's richest men, was born in Georgia of Greek heritage and is a former member of the Russian parliament and has close ties to Vladimir Putin.

In the footage below you can see a clearly irate Savvidis storming the pitch,  and reaching for his side where his holster is.


AEK Athens sit at the top of the Greek league with PAOK Salonika in third, there are now five points between the clubs but a win for PAOK would have seen them go within two points of AEK.

In the wake of the fiasco, Greece Deputy Minister for Sports Giorgos Vassiliadis has announced the immediate and indefinite suspension of the Greek Super League, following the events at the PAOK vs AEK derby on Sunday:


We are going for an indefinite suspension. We are expecting a new set of stricter rules for soccer, after spending three years trying to clean the game up.

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