FIFA and UEFA threaten Greek football with ‘Grexit’

31 March 2016
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The global governing body of football, FIFA and its European branch UEFA have threatened Greece with expelling all its clubs and the Greek national football team from all international competitions, after a meeting between their representatives in Athens and Greek Deputy Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis came to an impasse.

The two organisations have given the Greek sporting authorities a one week deadline before disqualifying all Greek clubs and the national team, unless the Greek cup competition resumes. Greek Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis had indefinitely postponed the Greek cup competition as a measure against football violence following a quarter final cup tie between PAOK and Olympiacos.

FIFA officials argue that if the Greek authorities had decided to postpone all domestic football competitions, including the country’s league that would have made much more sense and could have been approached differently by FIFA. But interrupting one competition and not the other is unreasonable.

If the two sides fail to find common grounds the consequences would be catastrophic on many levels of Greek football, like the exclusion of all Greek national teams, both male and female and at all age levels from all matches or competitions, including the ongoing World Cup qualifiers; no international friendly matches outside Greece; all Greek clubs would be disqualified from the Champions League and the Europe League; the Greek Football Federation would cease to be a member of FIFA and UEFA, while Greek clubs would be blocked from signing foreign players and those already in Greece would have the right to immediately become free agents.

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