FIFA delegation in Athens over ‘football crisis’

14 March 2018
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FIFA has responded to a letter by Greece’s sports minister this week and a controversial decision by the Tsipras government to suspend the Greek pro football league (Superleague) indefinitely in the wake of yet another raucous game involving PAOK Thessaloniki.

A derby on Sunday evening between league-leading AEK Athens and PAOK, who trailed by two points, was considered as crucial for deciding this year’s championship. Nevertheless, the game was interrupted in the 90th minute when the referee disqualified a goal for PAOK on a controversial off-side call.

In a response to Athens and relevant minister Giorgos Vassiliadis, FIFA Europe chief Bjorn Vassallo said the delegation was due to arrive in the Greek capital on Tuesday evening in order to hold talks with the Greek Football Federation (EPO).

“FIFA demands an uncompromising and robust approach in exterminating all forms of violence in football,” was the statement by Vassallo.

Images of PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis storming onto the pitch on Sunday with a gun holstered on his belt were transmitted around the world.

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