Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Football club owner wanted by Greek police for pitch invasion with gun



Football club owner wanted by Greek police for pitch invasion with gun

Football club owner wanted by Greek police for pitch invasion with gun

Greek police issued an arrest warrant on 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.

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

The Greek-Russian businessman marched on to the pitch armed with the firearm after a disputed goal.

Savvidis defended his behaviour.

“Ivan [Savvidis] didn’t threaten anybody with a gun,” his media department told Russia’s Sport Express newspaper.

“It means that the provocative headlines in certain media are totally untrue.

“He carries weapons as he has a permission for it. It’s not prohibited in Greece.”

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.

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.

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.

Savvidis’ press office told Sports Express: “PAOK are currently in the [Greek league] leading group with fair chances to win the title.

“It has caused various provocations against the club. Savvidis has allowed himself some excessive emotions but, once again, he didn’t threaten anybody with a gun.”

Greek media reported on Monday that the leftist government is seriously considering suspending Super League contests until judicial authorities clear up pending decisions on matches involving violence.

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.”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro