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Ten days to save Greek soccer from international ban

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

The Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) received on Tuesday the final letter of warning from FIFA that threatens the Greek game with suspension from all international competitions unless the government complies with its demands by April 15.

The two-page letter that has a form of ultimatum to the Greek government has three main points:

The international federation asks EPO and the Sports Ministry to restart the Greek Cup immediately, after Sports Deputy Minister Stavros Kontonis announced its suspension in the aftermath of the fan clashes with police at the PAOK vs Olympiakos semifinal a month ago. The letter makes it clear that the FIFA membership of the Greek federation will be “suspended” unless the Greek Cup restarts.

The letter also states that any decision by the Council of State will not be taken into account as this does not concern FIFA and its requirements. After all, the new postponement on Tuesday meant that the case will not be heard until April 19, i.e. four days after the FIFA ultimatum to Greece expires.

FIFA further demands the set-up of a negotiating team toward a revision of the legislative framework, based on the 1999 law and the 2015 amendment by Kontonis allowing the minister to stop competitions. FIFA is also against certain clauses of the law on doping, which provides for an independent body to rule on doping cases instead of the EPO disciplinary committee.

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