SPORTS

Volleyball referees call off their strike

Following a week’s interruption, the volleyball league can now resume, since the strike by referees ended yesterday. The money owed to match officials for games played until December 31, 2008, was paid in full yesterday and referees have indicated they are ready to return to action. The 14th round of games originally scheduled for last weekend will now take place on February 7 and 8, the league’s organizer decided yesterday. Before the resumption of the league, though, five Greek teams will be involved in European competition. Iraklis and Panathinaikos are in the last round of the group stage of the Champions League. Iraklis has already secured the top spot, so its visit to Sofia tomorrow to face CSKA is a mere formality. Panathinaikos, however, plays a crucial game against Russia’s Iskra Odintsovo at Glyfada tomorrow, hoping to snatch one of the two qualification spots in the group. In the quarterfinals of the CEV Cup, Olympiakos needs just one set from its game at Poitiers in France tomorrow evening, after winning 3-0 at home. In contrast, Lamia is looking for a miracle, as it lost 3-1 to Lokomotiv Belgorod at home and is now traveling to Russia for tomorrow’s return leg. Finally, in the Challenge Cup, EA Patras (EAP) has all but qualified, as it needs just one set from its game at Kaposvar in Hungary. EAP had won 3-0 in Patras. If EAP qualifies, it will proceed to the quarterfinals of the competition.