Greek football club owner banned for 3 years over pitch invasion with gun

first_img0Shares0000PAOK’s Greek-Russian owner Ivan Savvidis has been banned for three years for storming onto the pitch with a gun in its holster © AFP/File / stringerATHENS, Greece, Mar 29 – The owner of Greek club PAOK has been banned for three years after storming onto the pitch with a holstered gun on his belt, league organisers said.PAOK were also docked three points and fined for Ivan Savvidis’ actions at the end of a match against AEK Athens, meaning they drop to third place in a tight championship race with AEK and Olympiakos. The ruling also includes a 100,000-euro ($123,000) fine for Greek-Russian businessman Savvidis and a separate 63,000-euro fine for PAOK.PAOK, based in the northern port of Thessaloniki, said they will appeal.Also Thursday, the monitoring committee of global football body FIFA recommended the immediate suspension of Greece’s football federation, according to a letter leaked to Greek media.The Greek league will resume on Saturday after being suspended on March 12 in the wake of the Savvidis incident. Athens-based AEK now have a commanding lead at the top with 57 points followed by Olympiakos with 50 and PAOK with 49 points.The clubs have agreed to a list of government demands, including point deductions and automatic relegation for clubs responsible for violence.Savvidis, a 58-year-old tobacco industrialist and a former lawmaker with the party of Russian president Vladimir Putin, stormed onto the pitch to confront the referee in protest at a 90th-minute disallowed goal in what was then a top-of-the-table clash against AEK Athens.His club said: “The penalty is harsh and (was made) under the pressure of a targeted communication storm against PAOK. We are appealing and expect to be judged on the basis of actual facts.”It said Savvidis had the support of “the entire family of PAOK, stronger and more determined than ever”.The Greek Super League docked PAOK three points from this season and two from next season, and ordered them to play the next three home matches without spectators.The league banned the club’s football director Lubos Michel for three months and fined him 15,000 euros for threatening the referee in the AEK match.There was little sympathy for PAOK from their Athens-based rivals.“We expected PAOK to be punished and that we would be on the top. I think we deserve to be at the top as we have played the best football,” AEK forward Tasos Bakasetas told Nova TV.Greek football has perennially been plagued by violence and match-fixing.The head of a FIFA committee set up last July to monitor the Greek football federation, Herbert Hubel, recommended in his report to FIFA’s leadership that Greece, the 2004 European champions, be excluded from international competition.Hubel mentioned the pitch invasion by Savvidis, as well as the suspension of the league, the suspension of PAOK from the European Club Association and continuous delays in court decisions about match outcomes.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

England new boy Jadon Sancho reaping the rewards of Borussia Dortmund switch

first_imgJadon Sancho is reaping the rewards of taking the path less followed, with the talented Borussia Dortmund teenager calling his England call-up the “biggest thing that could ever happen to a young kid like me”.Gareth Southgate doubled down on his focus on youth with his squad selection for the upcoming Nations League double-header away to Croatia and Spain. MONEY LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade The teenager has starred for Dortmund this season Sancho was perhaps the most eye-catching inclusion, with his promising performances in Germany seeing him become the first player born this millennium to be called-up by the senior team.It is just reward for his displays after making the courageous – if at the time slightly controversial – move from Manchester City to Dortmund last summer.“It means a lot to me, especially my family,” the 18-year-old said.“When I was a young kid, I always dreamed of obviously playing for my country.“That’s the biggest thing that could ever happen to a young kid like me.“It would be a dream come true (to make my debut against Croatia). I couldn’t ask for anything better than that. Sancho left Manchester City due to lack of assurances over game time huge blow Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won ADVICE silverware REVEALED “That’s mad!” Sancho said with a laugh when told of that figure. “Woah!“That’s… I don’t know… I don’t know what to say to that.”Asked if he felt he would play club football in England again,” he said: “I don’t know. It’s the future. You never know what could happen, so we wait and see.”For now, focus is on international matters.Sancho already has a World Cup winners’ medal to his name – even though he had to watch last year’s Under-17 final on an internet stream after being called back from India by Dortmund.Earlier that summer the attacking midfielder won player of the tournament as Steve Cooper’sYoung Lions reached the Under-17 European Championship final and the teenager believes that was a “very special group”.“The growth in England at the moment is crazy,” Sancho added. “There’s a lot of great young players out there.” Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? center_img “Obviously I just have to keep on working hard in training and see what the manager does.”Sancho seemed a little taken aback by the media interest at St George’s Park, but not quite as much as when the call came in from Southgate rather than England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd.“I was a bit surprised, to be fair, because obviously I’m so young so I have still got a lot to learn,” he said with a smile.“I’m just grateful that he’s seeing my progress in the Bundesliga and very thankful.”Sancho politely declined to talk about leaving Pep Guardiola’s City but was forthcoming when it came to life in Germany, expressing gratitude to the Dortmund fans and head coach Lucien Favre.“Everyone’s introduced me nicely,” the Londoner said. “It’s a nice vibe over there. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions 3 REVEALED 3 3 England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Sancho was in a bright mood during his first England presser “I’m learning German, of course. It’s going alright, it’s a bit difficult. I’ve still got a long way to go!”Sancho has time to hone his linguistic skills after last week signing a new deal with Dortmund until 2022 but living abroad brings challenges for a young player.“Obviously moving from home, that was the biggest,” he said.“Leaving my mum behind and my sisters. I miss them a lot, but I want to do what’s best for me and felt like moving to Germany was the best thing.”Sancho’s move from Watford to City helped prepare his mental leap to Germany – a move abroad he would recommend to like-minded players.There were nerves at first, but Sancho soon settled into life at Dortmund and the number seven shirt vacated by Ousmane Dembele when he joined Barcelona.Playing for England brings new pressures, though, and his performance have seen a £100million price tag to be mentioned. Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade RANKED BEST OF last_img read more