Gov’t deems Volos/Kavala verdict unacceptable

The government branded on August 12 as «exceptionally unacceptable» the decision by sports judges not to relegate Olympiakos Volou and Kavala for match-fixing and promised to present its own response very soon.

Following a relatively strong rejection of the verdict by the Appeals Committee of the Hellenic Football Federation from Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos and a relatively mild comment by General Secretary for Sports, Panos Bitsaxis, government spokesman Ilias Mosialos blasted the disciplinary panel’s verdict in a radio interview, in a clear effort to reflect the public discontent.

“Is there a Greek citizen who is happy with the decision? Greek citizens in their vast majority, excluding sports judges and a few football officials who do not number any more than 200 across the country, believe that those decisions are exceptionally unacceptable. And that is my own view, too,» said Mosialos in an unusually blunt manner.

Asked about the ban by UEFA for Olympiakos Volou compared with the Greek verdict not to relegate the club, Mosialos said: «It is clear that when there is such a great disharmony between the decisions by UEFA and the sports justice, we have a huge issue, not a small one.

“These decisions are unacceptable. Sports justice is not an agency of the Greek state; it forms part of the broader procedures of UEFA. That does not mean that we should not judge it, or that the state will not do what it can in the context of its competences,» he added.

“The state will deliver its coordinated and comprehensive response soon. The minister will soon make the relevant announcements,» Mosialos confirmed.

Meanwhile Olympiakos Volou submitted an appeal to the UEFA decision that bans it from this season’s Europa League and imposes a three-year suspension from the European Cups deferred for the next five years. The appeal is going to be heard on August 15.