SPORTS

Iraklis appeal against relegation fails, Panionios saved

Athens soccer club Panionios escaped relegation from Greece?s top flight on Wednesday but Thessaloniki side Iraklis lost its appeal against being demoted from the Super League.

A Hellenic Football Federation appeals committee upheld an earlier decision not give Iraklis a license to take part in the Super League.

The Thessaloniki club was said to have been unable to provide certain official assurances about its finances, as rules laid down by European soccer?s governing body, UEFA, demand.

Panionios and Iraklis finished the season on 35 points, four clear of the relegation zone but both clubs have been dogged by financial problems.

It has been alleged that Iraklis borrowed more than 500,000 euros from a usury ring in Thessaloniki, whose members were arrested last week.

The Super League will now make arrangements for Asteras Tripolis, the third of three teams that were relegated, to remain in Greece?s top division.