The temporary administrative board of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) announced on Wednesday the indefinite suspension of all league soccer action in Greece following the arson attack late on Tuesday at a house owned by the head of the federation’s refereeing committee.
The house of Giorgos Bikas, the head of the Central Refereeing Committee (KED), at Ierissos of Halkidiki in Central Macedonia, was torched on Tuesday night with the Fire Service treating the incident as arson. The blaze spread to neighboring houses.
The incident came less than a week after another KED member, Giorgos Tsachilidis was threatened by two men on his doorstep, leading to the resignation of all three KED members. EPO and FIFA warned at the time that any other such incident would lead to the suspension of the local game indefinitely.
A few hours after Bikas – also an administrative board member – was convinced to revoke his resignation, his holiday home at Halkidiki was torched leading to dramatic developments on Wednesday morning.
Bikas notified EPO which in turn informed FIFA’s special envoy to Greece Costakis Koutsokoumnis and the Greek government. Both Koutsokoumnis and new Deputy Minister for Sports Giorgos Vassiliadis agreed to enforce EPO’s threat to suspend all soccer games indefinitely. This decision was later officially announced by the federation.
“EPO’s Temporary Administrative Committee decided at an extraordinary meeting today to suspend all national soccer championships until the announcement of the outcome of the investigation of the causes of the fire by the Fire Service, when EPO will reexamine its attitude,” read the statement on Wednesday afternoon.
Vassiliadis said that “the Temporary Administrative Committee is under the protection of the state” and that he fully supports its decision to suspend the local game.
The national team’s games and those of the Greek teams in the Europa League are not affected by the decision.