Super League suspends next weekend's soccer action

By George Georgakopoulos

The Super League announced on Friday that it is suspending next weekend's action in protest at a new sports law cleared through Parliament this week.

As a result, the 22nd round of games will be played as normal on Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19, but the 23rd round, scheduled for February 25-26 will be put off for at least one week.

"In response to the abuse and the slander we suffered from members of the Greek Parliament, to the enactment of objective responsibility which renders punishable the occupation of soccer, to the linkage of the OPAP sponsorship with political objectives, and to the tax burdens imposed on soccer clubs, the governing board of the Super League decided today the suspension of the 23rd round of games on February 25-26 as a warning,» read the Super League statement.

"We have all realized now that soccer has become a punching bag for irresponsible politicians,» the statement adds.

"Those who are sitting pretty on their parliamentary seats, a little before they are lost in oblivion for good, have found soccer as the easy target for them to show their non-existent sensitivity and daring character,» suggested the unusually strong-worded statement.

The consequence of the decision is that the rest of the soccer calendar has been put off by at least a week, though it does give some breathing room to Olympiakos and PAOK who are involved in Europa League games this month.

It will also avert the overlap of the league derby between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos on March 11 with the basketball cup final, probably between the same teams, scheduled for the same date.