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Huge pressure on local soccer officials

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) president Vangelis Grammenos.

TAGS: Soccer

The Greek soccer federation head is reportedly considering to resign, in the aftermath of the abandoned PAOK vs AEK game and the images of pistol-wielding PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis, while the head of the federation’s appeals committee, who ruled in PAOK’s favor last Saturday, was revealed to have suffered an attack in the street. He and the match’s referee have said they fear for their life.

According to sports daily “Live Sport” on Tuesday, Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) president Vangelis Grammenos, who rose to the federation’s prominence with PAOK’s support, is in a bad psychological situation under pressure from developments in the Super League and is about to tender his resignation.

Other sources say he will not resign now, but may do so later, once the pending court cases on various Super League incidents are completed.

His bad state is also the reason for the belated and rather muted reaction by EPO to the events at Toumba.

Dimitris Skouteris – the head of EPO’s Appeals Committee that returned the three points deducted from PAOK – suffered a few months ago an attack on the street in Athens by unknown assailants, the head of the Institute for International and Hellenic Sports law (IDEAD), Giorgos Panagopoulos revealed on Monday night on Skai TV.

Skouteris had informed Panagopoulos and FIFA’s Cypriot envoy to Athens Costakis Koutsokoumnis about the attack he suffered on Kifissias Avenue. The judge also told Panagopoulos that he feared for his life and avoided presiding over courts for six months.

The climate of pressure and terrorism in Greek soccer is completed by the words that the PAOK vs AEK match referee, Giorgos Kominis, reportedly said at Toumba on Sunday night in the locker room: “I’m done with refereeing. Have mercy on me, I am scared for my life, my wife is seven months pregnant...”

Funnily enough, the Super League website’s results service has got frozen since the moment the unrest started at Toumba: it shows the game is still being played, in injury time, with the score at 1-0 in PAOK’s favor, while still announcing the March 12 game between PAS Giannina and Apollon Smyrnis “will” take place at 7.30 p.m. Soccer on ice, indeed.

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