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PAOK owner wanted by Greek police and all games suspended

Following the actions taken by PAOK Thessaloniki's Ivan Savvidis, an arrest warrant has been issued and "tough measures" are to be taken says Interior Minister.


Greek police issued an arrest warrant Monday against PAOK Thessaloniki owner Ivan Savvidis for invading the pitch - a gun in his hip holster - in Sunday's Super League clash with AEK Athens. On the back of this the authorities have announced that all Greek games will be suspended until further notice.

Angry protest follows offside decision

Although Savvidis reportedly has a licence for his revolver, he is wanted by police for entering the playing area, police sources told AFP.

The Greek-Russian businessman marched on to the pitch armed with the firearm after a disputed goal. The match was suspended in the 90th minute after PAOK defender Fernando Varela's goal was initially ruled offside, prompting an angry protest from the hosts that led AEK to walk off the pitch.

Russian-born Greek businessman and owner of PAOK Salonika, Ivan Savvides, pictured with what appears to be a gun in a holster, enters the pitch.
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Russian-born Greek businessman and owner of PAOK Salonika, Ivan Savvides, pictured with what appears to be a gun in a holster, enters the pitch.INTIMEREUTERS

AEK had complained that Savvidis came on to the pitch with a gun in his hip holster and threatened referee Giorgos Kominos, who was reportedly told "you are finished" by PAOK technical director Lubos Michel.

Referee decision changed

Kominos some three hours later changed his decision and awarded the goal to PAOK - if the 1-0 scoreline stands they would take over first place in the Greek table from AEK.

The referee could not convince AEK to return to complete the final few minutes after they expressed concern for their safety.

The visitors also complained that Savvidis attacked AEK director Vasilis Dimitriadis.

Savvidis had asked his team to leave the pitch in protest after Kominos's decision, but PAOK's Portuguese captain Vieirinha refused and the team did not go to the locker rooms, unlike AEK.

"Tough measures" need to be taken

Paok president Ivan Savvidis is escorted away.
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Paok president Ivan Savvidis is escorted away.SAKIS MITROLIDISAFP

Greek media reported on Monday that the leftist government was seriously considering suspending Super League contests until judicial authorities had cleared up pending decisions on matches involving violence. This was later confirmed.

Deputy Sports Minister Giorgos Vasiliadis is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and measures are certain to be announced.

"There is no need to talk, but to take tough measures," Interior Minister Panos Skourletis told Athens News Agency.

"The scenes that we have seen have hurt Greek football. Anyone who comes on the pitch with a revolver is provocatively unacceptable."


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