No soccer games as of Sept. 28

Cash-strapped Greek soccer clubs decided yesterday to stage a lockout at the end of the month, in an attempt to pressure the government into making good their losses from the collapse of the Alpha Digital pay-TV company, with which most top teams had signed lucrative contracts. Owners of Greece’s First, Second and Third Division teams agreed in an extraordinary meeting yesterday to propose a lockout from September 28 at Tuesday’s general assembly of the Association of Professional Football Clubs (EPAE). The scheduled third and fourth rounds of the championship will be held as usual this and next weekend. The suspended – due to a violent altercation with a referee last year – chairman of Panathinaikos, Angelos Filippidis, said clubs proposed to present a list of proposals intended to dispel government fears that, if (as EPAE would like) local soccer matches are included in a lucrative state betting game, rampant match-rigging will ensue. The owner of last year’s champion, Olympiakos, is a partner in the Pame Stoichima (Let’s Bet) betting game.

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