SPORTS

Long-overdue decision deducts points from PAOK, slaps three-year ban on Savvidis

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

After a long delay the Disciplinary Committee of the Super League decided on Thursday to issue its verdict on the abandoned game between PAOK and AEK, slapping PAOK with point deductions, stadium ban, fines and suspensions to top PAOK officials.

The match that was abandoned on March 11 at Toumba Stadium is awarded to AEK with a 3-0 score and PAOK is deducted three points from this season’s tally and will start next season from minus two points.

Furthermore PAOK is slapped with a fine of 63,000 euros and will play its next three home games without fans.

PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis, who led to the abandonment of the game as he entered the pitch to protest against the referee carrying a gun in his hip holster, is punished with a three-year exclusion from all sports facilities as well as a fine of 100,000 euros. PAOK sporting director Lubos Michel received a 90-day ban from stadiums and a 15,000-euro fine, for telling the referee “you are finished.”

The decision leaves AEK with a seven-point advantage over second-placed Olympiakos with five games left to play. AEK is on 57, Olympiakos has 50, PAOK dropped to 49 and Atromitos has 47 points.

PAOK is likely to appeal the decision at the second-degree body of the Hellenic Football Federation, extending further the uncertainty in the local game.

Some media have reported that the decision was delayed so that it would be issued after the speech of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Thessaloniki on Thursday. The verdict was issued a few minutes after the airing of the recommendation for the exclusion of Greek soccer from all international competitions by the FIFA Monitoring Committee.

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