Recording suggests PAOK VP tried to dismiss armed pitch invasion

TAGS: Soccer, Crime

A tape recording of a locker room discussion after PAOK president Ivan Savvidis on Sunday stormed the pitch in Toumba, Thessaloniki, to protest a referee decision suggests that the club’s vice president tried to deny that the business tycoon was carrying a gun.

“There is no gun,” PAOK VP Makis Gagatsis is heard telling AEK official Vassilis Dimitriadis and referee Giorgos Kominis in the locker room shortly after Savvidis stormed onto the pitch to protest a decision by Kominis to disallow a PAOK goal as offside in the 90th minute.

In the recording, which was aired on Skai TV on Monday night, Gagatsis is also heard trying to convince the AEK official to continue the match, to which Dimitriadis responds: “They came out with a gun; they’re going to kill us,” adding that the team’s safety has to come first. 

Kominis is also heard in the recording, saying: “Take pity on me. My wife is pregnant. I’m scared for my life. I’m done. I will never blow a whistle again.”

An arrest warrant has been issued for Savvidis and four bodyguards who were with him during the incident, one of whom in an active police officer.