Sports minister: We do not care about a ‘soccer Grexit’


The Greek government’s decision to indefinitely suspend the soccer league, as well as the cup, was published in the Government Gazette late on Monday.

Athens, however, appears indifferent to the prospect of Greece being isolated from the international game, according to comments by the competent minister.

Following the abandoned game at Toumba in Thessaloniki between PAOK and AEK after PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis stormed the pitch carrying a weapon – in incident that was widely reported by international media – world soccer governing body FIFA issued a clear threat to Greece that unless the country cleans up its act it will face a “soccer Grexit.”

The threat appears to leave Athens indifferent, however, as Deputy Minister for Sports Giorgos Vassiliadis told Efimerida ton Syntakton daily on Tuesday “let there be Grexit in soccer, we do not care.”

“Unless club owners stage a moratorium and accept the inclusion in the rule book of penalties for their inflammatory statements, we are not going to back down,” Vassiliadis said.

In a further effort to level the field without separating the victims from the perpetrators, Vassiliadis said that “we cannot have the people who were in favor of sanitizing [Greek soccer] do things like that. They all have a responsibility.”

Vassiliadis will host a meeting with the Super League board on Tuesday, as well as holding talks with clubs that object to the league’s suspension.

Meanwhile PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis remains at large, with a warrant for his arrest still valid. He is accused of entering the field at Toumba with four of his security officers.