SPORTS

Greeks seek Euro bailout in soccer, too

UEFA President Michel Platini promised in Athens on July 26 to help the Greek federation put its house in order, following a request by the government, and is about to send veteran Italian referee Pierluigi Collina to help the process.

The French soccer legend, who is in his second term at the head of the European game’s governing body, met with Prime Minister George Papandreou and Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos and agreed to send a number of experts to Greece with proposals on how to tackle the four major problems in the local game.

The four issues that Platini discussed with Papandreou are match fixing, fan violence, refereeing and doping, with Platini pledging to send an expert for each with proposals to the Greek federation (EPO).

There will be four working groups created in the federation, one for every issue, who will work on the proposals and create a framework for the game’s operation in Greece.

“For the situation to improve, we have said that Collina will come here to help with his own experience,» Platini said in a press conference at Athens International Airport before his departure.

“We will be expecting the experts to come and help us, probably within August,» said EPO chief Sofoklis Pilavios, who has known Platini for quite a long time and is banking on his personal support.

Platini also stressed that the soccer authorities should not act on match-fixing allegations until the judicial authorities have issued their verdict, which is going to put off any penalties for the clubs involved in the scandal.