NEWS

Reds end top but wait for title

Olympiakos won its fourth straight Greek championship last night but could still lose the title if a ruling by the highest court in sports goes against the Piraeus club. Olympiakos beat visiting Iraklis 3-1 in the season’s last round to finish with 70 points from 30 games, while AEK ended second with 68 points after defeating Asteras Tripolis 2-0. Panathinaikos beat Apollon 3-1, away, for third place. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, could still affect the title. Last-place Apollon Kalamarias has filed a complaint with CAS to regain the four points it lost for fielding an ineligible player when it beat Olympiakos 1-0 on February 3. If it is successful, Olympiakos could lose the three league points it was awarded in the decision by Greek sports authorities. AEK, a 2-0 winner against visiting Asteras Tripolis, could overtake Olympiakos should the Swiss court rule in favor of Apollon. Local league authorities are not obliged to enforce the Swiss court’s decisions. CAS heard the arguments for the parties in the dispute last week. An announcement is likely to be made today. Following last night’s win, AEK players, fans and officials celebrated as if the club had won the title. The end of the regular season will be followed by a new playoff competition involving the teams that ended second to fifth. The home-and-away mini-league, scheduled to start this Wednesday, will determine the final placings and berths for European club-level competition next season. Panionios, a 2-1 winner over Atromitos yesterday, clinched a tight three-way battle for fifth spot, leaving out Larissa and newly promoted Asteras. For Atromitos, the defeat meant relegation to the second division. Veria and Apollon, also relegated, had lost all hope of survival a week earlier. Ending in fourth place, Aris, a 2-0 winner over visiting OFI, will also take part in the playoffs. Ergotelis escaped relegation courtesy of a 2-0 win over Xanthi. In yesterday’s other games, it was: Larissa 4, PAOK 3 and Levadiakos 5, Veria 3. If the Swiss court’s decision does not affect the standings, Aris hosts Panathinaikos and AEK greets Panionios in the first round of playoffs. (Kathimerini, AP)