Measures taken against sly plans

Panathinaikos, fearing a sly backlash of last week’s stinging point-reducing punishment imposed on archrival Olympiakos and mid-placed Panionios for violence between their fans, has taken absolute measures for a trouble-free away encounter against Ionikos this weekend. After rejecting its entitled share of away tickets and spelling out that no fans – organized or individual – would attend the game against Ionikos, Panathinaikos’s administration also advised the home club to not sell tickets permitting entry into its stadium’s segregated stand reserved for visiting fans. Panathinaikos also requested that the personal details of all ticket buyers be recorded. Ionikos shares an allegiance with neighboring Olympiakos, which has raised suspicions at Panathinaikos of a possible attempt by Olympiakos fans to enter the stadium disguised as away fans purely for the sake of igniting trouble and having Panathinaikos face the sports tribunal as well. Last week, a sports tribunal deducted three points each from Olympiakos and Panionios, while also nullifying the points up for grabs from their encounter after widespread violence erupted in the stands and led to several people sustaining severe injuries. Consequently, Olympiakos was displaced from the league’s top spot by perennial rival Panathinaikos. Olympiakos has appealed the verdict. Meanwhile Panathinaikos defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos, in Scotland to finalize details for a transfer to Glasgow Rangers, had not yet signed his contract late last night after the negotiating parties were delayed by a discrepancy concerning the deal’s duration. The Greek player wants a three-year term while Rangers officials are seeking a five-year deal. Latest reports yesterday said both sides would compromise for a three-and-a-half-year deal worth an annual fee of just under a million euros for the player. Panathinaikos is expected to rake in 2.2 million euros from the likely sale.