FIFA takes control of Greek soccer federation


World soccer governing body FIFA said on Friday it was appointing a normalization committee to run the daily affairs of the crisis-hit Greek soccer federation (EPO).

The move follows months of bickering between the federation and the Greek government over discrepancies between national laws and the independence of the federation.

FIFA said in a fax send to the Greek federation and signed by Secretary General Fatma Samoura, that the committee would revise the relevant regulations to bring them into line with FIFA standards.

"The FIFA Council was briefed on the different issues faced by the Greek federation in recent months, such as the tense relationships with the authorities, due partly to discrepancies between national laws and the independence of the federation," the FIFA fax read.

"The resignation of the president and other members of the federation's executive committee due to judicial procedures, the allegations linked to refereeing, as well as the difficulties surrounding the management of ethics cases."

The FIFA-appointed committee will also organize fresh Greek soccer federation elections by May 31 next year at the latest.

Greece's Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis welcomed the move as "a positive development which will be combined with the placement of worthy people to manage a problem that has plagued Greek sports for years".