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FIFA says to keep monitoring Greek federation after it elects new officials

TAGS: Soccer

FIFA will monitor the Greek football federation (EPO) for at least a year after it holds elections for a new president and executive board next month, the global football body said on Wednesday.

FIFA intervened in the trouble-hit EPO last October following months of turmoil on and off the pitch and has been effectively running it since then through a so-called normalization committee.

The intervention will end with the EPO elections on Aug. 18, but a new monitoring committee will be established "to ensure oversight of the operations and processes... for at least 12 months," FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA said the committee would monitor the EPO's overall situation including budgeting and finance and would report to both FIFA and UEFA every two months.

Greece's problems began in March last year when the sports ministry cancelled the Greek Cup final following crowd violence at a semi-final tie.

In response, FIFA and European football body UEFA, who demand autonomy for their member federations, threatened to suspend Greece due to government interference in EPO affairs.

Eventually, the sports ministry allowed the match to go ahead, but it was played behind closed doors.

The start of last season then had to be postponed due to a long-running dispute over the selection of referees between Greece’s top clubs, the EPO and the government.

FIFA intervened in October, although more trouble arose with incidents involving members of the refereeing committee the following month.

Committee member Giorgos Tsachilidis was threatened by two men on his doorstep, and a week later Greece suspended all national league and cup competitions after an alleged arson attack at the home of the committee's head, Giorgos Bikas. [Reuters]

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