Greek League to resume with new penalties for violent conduct
Sports Minister Yorgos Vassiliadis has given the green light for the Superleague to resume three weeks after PAOK president marched on to the pitch with a gun.
The Greek government on Tuesday ordered the lifting of the suspension for Superleague matches after more than two weeks following the pitch invasion of a gun-carrying club president.
Matches were suspended on March 12, a day after Ivan Savvides, the president of PAOK, charged on to the pitch with a gun in his belt, to complain over a disallowed goal towards the end of a game against fellow title contenders AEK Athens.
Greece's Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Georgios Vassiliadis took the decision a day after Superleague clubs unanimously accepted changes to the league's disciplinary code and submitted proposals for improving the country's top soccer division.
"The Deputy Minister for Culture and Sport....has decided to immediately lift the suspension of the Superleague championship as well as the Greek Cup," the ministry said in a statement.
PAOK president confronted referee with holstered firearm
Greece had indefinitely suspended matches after Savvides was filmed wearing a gun holster as he strode on to the pitch to protest about a PAOK disallowed goal against AEK Athens.
The game was abandoned and later awarded to PAOK 1-0 following the controversial goal which had prompted the initial protests.
Savvides has since apologised for his actions but he and the club still face sanctions.
World soccer's governing body FIFA has also warned Greece to act decisively in this matter or risk facing a potential national suspension.
The European Club Association (ECA) has suspended PAOK as a member with immediate effect.
New punishments for violent conduct
Among the measures implemented by the Greek authorities are the punishment of automatic relegation to the second division if a club is found guilty by a sports tribunal of three instances of violent conduct during a single season
Club presidents and other executives will also face sanctions for making declarations in the media that are considered to foment violence, the Greek authorities said.