SPORTS

Volleyball league starts lockout

The volleyball league announced the suspension of the A1 championship as of today, due to financial problems, one day after Panathinaikos’s surprise loss at Lamia. The league has been asking for funding from the state for months now but its contacts with Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos and General Secretary for Sports Panos Bitsaxis have not led to any solution. A depleted Panathinaikos suffered its first domestic loss of the season, going down at Lamia 25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 25-23, and now sits second on the table, three points behind surprise leader PAOK. Lamia moved up to fourth, five points off the pace. The dire financial situation of Panathinaikos’s women’s team caused it to pull out of Europe’s CEV Cup, while the men’s team has decided to stay with the Champions League, as the penalty for opting out would be heavier than the financial loss from its participation.