Greece faces “fubball grexit” in face of wave of violence in stadiums.
A possible exclusion of the country from international soccer competitions is no longer far away, warned the special envoy of UEFA and FIFA, herbert hubel, after the latest scandal surrounding the revolver appearance of the club boss of paok saloniki. “Greek fubball is on the brink of the abyss,” the austrian stressed. He will now submit a report to the world governing body (FIFA). “I can”t say what FIFA will do,” hubel stressed at a press conference in athens on wednesday.
The special envoy had met with the deputy minister for sports, giorgos vasiliadis, and the board of the greek soccer federation. "We are not here to impose punishments, but to give advice," hubel had announced before the talks. After the meeting, he said that the greek side had assured him that measures would be taken to end violence in football.
The serious football crisis erupted on sunday when paok president iwan savvidis walked onto the pitch with a revolver strapped to his belt during the northern greek club"s top match against AEK athens. He wanted to protest there against a cancellation of a goal of his team because of offside position. This unleashed a wave of uprising throughout the country. The greek government ordered the suspension of the championship for an indefinite period of time. AEK athens tops league of 16 teams with six days left in season. There had already been a series of riots at several league games before that.
The prosecutor of the greek sports justice filed charges against paok and its owner on wednesday. As reported by the state radio ERA-sport, referring to the authorities, the accuser konstantinos simitzoglou accused the head of the club of trespassing on the field of play. In addition, the russian-greek businessman is alleged to have threatened impartial, players, coaches and officials.
According to greek sports law, the traditional club – if convicted – could face a points deduction, a fine of up to 50,000 euros, a ban on spectators in the stadium or, in the worst case, forced relegation. The owner could be banned from entering soccer stadiums for three to five years.
Due to the recent incidents, the national match between greece and switzerland on 23. Marz will not take place in the paok fc arena of thessaloniki, as previously planned, but in the olympic stadium of athens. As reported by the state radio, the greek football association decided this in agreement with the government. The national team is coached by former bundesliga coach michael skibbe, who lost to croatia in the world cup qualifying playoffs with greece.