Airport blockade over ‘match-rigging’

Supporters and players for a small Thessaloniki football club that narrowly missed promotion to Greece’s top league last Sunday are to block the road to the northern city’s airport temporarily from 1 a. m. today, protesting at what the team’s board called «sacrilegious» match-rigging. Apollon Kalamaria, which was on the brink of joining the first division after its victory on the last day of the second division championship, claims that the chairman of the Association of Professional Football Clubs, Athanassios Kanellopoulos, intervened to save his home club, Panaiyialios, from dropping into the third division. Panaiyialios, who were 0-1 down in their match against Proodeftiki until seven minutes before the match’s end – when all other games finished – won 2-1. The combination of results elevated Proodeftiki to first division, to the detriment of Apollon. Sports Minister Yiannis Kourakis yesterday ordered a probe.

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