SPORTS

Olympiakos Volou in verbal assault on Larissa

The ongoing vendetta between Olympiakos Volou and Larissa, Thessaly’s two representatives in the Super League, took a dramatic turn for the worse on Tuesday, dashing the hopes of those expecting better days for Greek soccer.

Two days after the Thessaly derby in which the Volos team won 2-1 at Larissa to bring the host closer to relegation, the owner of Olympiakos Volou, Achilleas Beos, issued an outspoken statement that used vulgar language.

Its net result was that Larissa’s owner, Costas Piladakis, the man who led the team to a cup triumph and who helped it build its own brand-new stadium, announced he would sell his stake and leave in disgust.

The long statement used obscene words and harsh language, wishing Larissa to enjoy its time in the second division and suggesting that they use flocks of sheep instead of groundsmen to look after the club’s new stadium.

It came after an attack on a journalist from Volos at the match on Sunday and an incident in which Larissa fans threw three chickens at Beos, who was sitting on the Olympiakos Volou bench.

The statement, addressed at Larissa, suggests «our team was prepared to beat you and send you to the second division because all of Thessaly is sick and tired of your arrogance.”

There was also an insinuation about the way Larissa avoided relegation four years ago, saying that «this time there won’t be anyone to score two own goals and then disappear into oblivion as happened in 2006/7,» in a reference to Apollon Kalamarias’s 2-1 home loss to Larissa via a penalty and an own goal.

The Olympiakos Volou statement goes on to say that «we would like to give you some advice on your presence in the second division. You should issue a special ticket for teams to visit your grounds, as happens in museums around the world, showing them the areas where you beat up defenceless journalists.”

“For you all from Larissa, all the good things start when the lights go out, just wait. This is Volos,» the statement concludes.

Beos also spoke live on a radio station (Sentra FM) on Tuesday morning, suggesting that Larissa’s new ground, the AEL FC Arena, is a «fake construction. You will have to wait for a little while and you’ll see. The storm is coming,”

The former Panionios president also stressed that he was speaking from Nea Smyrni, where he was «preparing the ground for the game between Panionios and Larissa in two weeks’ time.”

Piladakis responded with a statement of his own on the Larissa website, saying: «Congratulations to all the official bodies of Greek soccer who can speak to Achilleas Beos and still argue that they strive for progress. Obviously ‘progress’ depends on soccer ‘officials’ such as this one.

“You will have realized by my stance so far that there is no way I will stoop so low as addressing him in a similar style or vocabulary,» the Larissa owner said, adding that his club will try to stay up but above all retain its dignity.

“From then on I shall look for the best possible solution, because obviously we have no place in this domain as it has been formed,» he concluded.