Ioannidis slams soccer playoffs

Deputy Culture Minister Yiannis Ioannidis, who holds the government’s sports portfolio, yesterday dismissed the soccer Super League’s newly introduced playoffs as a failure. Ioannidis, who was speaking at a seminar titled «Football In Greece – Moving Ahead» organized by the British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, said that the playoffs, staged for the first time this season, lacked competitive spirit. With the participation of the teams that end second to fifth at the end of home-and-away competition, the playoffs give the top two entries a significant head start. «The playoffs, at least the way they were staged this season, were a complete failure,» said Ioannidis. «You can’t have two teams seeking top spot and the other two participating without any hope,» he continued. Panathinaikos won the playoffs to secure a spot in the Champions League’s qualifying round.