NEWS

Olympiakos, owner charged over derby fracas

A prosecutor who deals with soccer-related issues on Tuesday charged Olympiakos and its owner, Vangelis Marinakis, in connection to the pitch invasion, clashes and unsporting comments at the end of the Reds’ derby win over Panathinaikos on Saturday.

Olympiakos are being charged for allowing up to 1,000 fans onto the pitch at the end of the game. Some of these supporters attacked Panathinaikos players as they left the field.

Marinakis is being charged with bringing the game into disrepute over his confrontation with some opposition players after the game as well as his comments to journalists.

The maximum penalty that Olympiakos can receive is to be forced to play two games behind closed doors. Marinakis is likely to be fined for his behavior.

Speaking to Skai TV on Tuesday, Panos Bitsaxis, the general secretary for sport, said that the unsavory incidents at the end of the Olympiakos vs Panathinaikos derby on Saturday confirmed that clubs are not doing enough to get their houses in order.

«The conclusions from the derby are that as an institution, as a cooperative of teams, the Super League is not in a position to organize a championship,» he said.

He also repeated the government’s position that soccer clubs should have any state funding withdrawn if they fail to stamp out violence. One of the main sources of funding for all clubs is sponsorship from the state-controlled gambling firm OPAP.

«We say clearly and directly that we are going to close the tap on state sponsorship,» he said.

Bitsaxis said that the contracts OPAP signs with clubs from now on would contain strict clauses allowing the company to stop its funding if the teams are bedeviled by fan violence.