SPORTS

Kontonis postpones Greek Cup final after clash with EPO, citing security concerns

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

The Greek Cup Final between AEK and Olympiakos, scheduled for Saturday evening, is now officially postponed until further notice. The General Secretariat for Sports announced on Friday afternoon it has heeded a recommendation by the police and the Committee Against Violence, and according to the letter it sent to the Greek soccer federation (EPO) the postponement is for at least 10 days.

Reports raged on Thursday about Deputy Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis fuming over the arbitrary appointment by EPO of a different set of assistants to referee Tasos Sidiropoulos for the final to those agreed on April 27. However the secretariat’s decision appears to have taken the police recommendation as a pretext for the postponement instead, saying nothing about the assistant referees.

Greek police claimed it was unable to supply the human resources required for the final, due to the demonstrations rocking Athens this weekend. Police also cited Thursday’s angry exchange of statements between AEK and Olympiakos on the issue of the assistant referees, that degenerated to accusations over board members who have served time in prison.

The postponement of the final “for at least 10 days”, as Kontonis has reportedly recommended, is also creating a problem to the Super League regarding the play-offs that were supposed to kick off on Wednesday, May 11.

What is more, PAOK will now demand that its three-point deduction gets cancelled if the Cup final does not take place. PAOK will claim that the only reason for the Cup to restart in April was for PAOK to get punished for not playing in the second leg of the semifinal as it had already announced it would do.

Another report said on Friday that besides violating the agreement Kontonis had made with EPO and the two clubs on the appointment of the referees, EPO also violated the agreement about the invitations for the final: Instead of sending three invitations to each one of the 55 local soccer associations around Greece, it has only sent two to each. That means it has kept 55 invitations to use as it pleased! In total there were 250 invitations issued by EPO and 30 by each one of the two finalists.

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