Soccer chief’s pep talk under scrutiny

A prosecutor in Athens yesterday launched a preliminary investigation into whether the main shareholder in the Panathinaikos soccer club, Yiannis Vardinoyiannis, has allegedly incited the club’s fans to violence ahead of the derby against rivals Olympiakos. The two teams are due to meet on Sunday and Vardinoyiannis allegedly went overboard while trying to fire up his players at a club function on Wednesday night. Vardinoyiannis allegedly repeated an abusive chant at the event, which was attended by journalists as well as almost all the players and their families. The incident was reported in the media, prompting court of first instance chief prosecutor Panayiotis Poulios to begin a probe into whether Vardinoyiannis was guilty of inciting fans to violence, an offense under Greece’s sports law.