Ball turns in PAOK’s favor with EPO ruling

The Hellenic Soccer Federation (EPO) yesterday said it would allow PAOK soccer club to play in Greek and European competition because it had guaranteed to cover its outstanding debts of some 6 million euros. The ruling was made by an appeals committee and reversed an EPO decision just one week earlier, which had meant that the Thessaloniki club could not take part in the UEFA Cup or Greek league. PAOK had qualified for the competition after finishing sixth. However, PAOK provided a 6-million-euro check to guarantee it will pay its debts, including some 1.8 million euros it is thought to owe players and coaches. EPO’s decision has to be rubber-stamped by European soccer’s governing body UEFA, as it is thought that Atromitos – the team which would have replaced PAOK – will lodge an appeal.