PAOK chief sorry for storming pitch with gun

Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2018

Greece had indefinitely suspended matches after Savvides was filmed wearing a gun holster as he strode onto the pitch to protest about a PAOK disallowed goal against AEK Athens on Sunday.

Greek football has been marred by crowd trouble in recent seasons and PAOK were deducted three points - but managed to overturn the sanction on appeal - after Olympiakos coach Oscar Garcia was hit by a toilet roll thrown from the stands at PAOK in February.

And then, further controversy came when PAOK scored in the 89th minute for an apparent win, only to have that decision reversed after the referee conferred with his assistants for a couple of minutes.

A public prosecutor ordered a judicial investigation into the incident. "The most important thing is that rules apply to everyone".

The probe by prosecutors in Thessaloniki will also investigate why police allegedly ignored instructions to arrest Savvidis on the spot, issued by a prosecutor on duty at Sunday's game against AEK Athens. He said: "We are not going back, we will continue the fight for transparency and a better football".

Players and officials try to stop Ivan Savvidis when he invaded the field.

Images of "persons entering sports grounds armed" harm PAOK and soccer in general, Greek Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Georgios Vassiliadis said in a written statement on Monday.

"My emotional reaction has been caused by the generalised negative situation prevailing in Greek football lately and by all the unacceptable, non-athletic events that took place towards the end of the PAOK-AEK - the actions of the referee and the supervisor (goal - offside - goal), the interruption of the match, the protests and the entry into the playing field of dozens of people of both teams". "Believe me, I had no plans to quarrel with the referee or the opponents, and I clearly did not threaten anyone".

"All of this created a degraded situation on the pitch and my only goal was to protect tens of thousands of PAOK fans from provocations - complications - human casualties", he said.

Well, regardless of that, the whole league has still been suspended over this.

Stratos said he had asked for the "quickest possible resumption" of matches but no date had been yet decided.