Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Greek Match Abandoned After Gun Toting Owner Storms Pitch

Greek Match Abandoned After Gun Toting Owner Storms Pitch

The incident occurred in a Greek Superleague match between rivals PAOK and AEK Athens, after the referee disallowed a last-minute goal by PAOK defender Fernando Varela.

PAOK, one of the bigger clubs in Greece, looked to have scored a last-minute goal against AEK Athens to earn a 1-0 win on Sunday, but the referee ruled the goal offside moments later.

In great frustration businessman Savvidis, came onto the pitch twice, accompanied by his body guards, to confront the referee.

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"Then followed the invasion of Ivan Savvidis with his bodyguards, but also by Lubos Michiel, and the subsequent withdrawal of referees to the changing rooms".

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PAOK defender Fernando Varela seemed to have given the home side a last-gasp victor at the Toumba Stadium, with a 90th-minute header, only for the goal to be disallowed after a short delay by the referee on the night.

The mood was tense even before the start of the match, as a point deduction that had been imposed on PAOK was removed just hours before the match, a decision that could further reduce the credibility of the league.

AEK sources claimed that Savvidis had threatened the referee during his first encroachment, before being led away.

PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis.

The league has been suspended indefinitely, with Greece's Deputy Sports Minister Giorgos Vasiliadis announcing the postponement of all top-flight games on Monday after meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

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Savvides was born in Georgia of Greek heritage and is a former member of the Russian parliament. The government has been trying to clean up the sport over the past three years.

Olympiakos itself is appealing a decision that had deducted three points from the team for fan behaviour in a February 4 home game against AEK, which it lost 2-1.

PAOK Salonika thought they had secured victory in Greece's crucial title clash against AEK Athens.

A derby between PAOK and Olympiakos Piraeus was called off last month after Olympiakos coach Oscar Garcia was hit by a roll of paper thrown from the stands.

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