Greek Super League suspends all play after gun incident


"We chose to discontinue the championship".

A match between two Greek Superleague teams, PAOK Salonika and AEK Athens, was suspended on Sunday when the president and owner of PAOK Salonika, Ivan Savvidis, stalked onto the pitch while armed with a gun.

Unfortunately for home fans the goal was disallowed as referee Georgios Kominis signalled offside to keep the score at 0-0.

It is not the first time that Greece's Super League has been marred by violence.

Kominos will reportedly send a match report to the Greek Football Federation, which will decide whether to penalize teams or individuals involved in the incident.

Savvidis is a Greek-Russian businessman and politician who previously held the position of Deputy to the State Duma in the Russian government between 2007 and 2011.

The league suspension is the latest stopgap measure adopted by the Tsipras government to maintain order in a championship spiralling out of control.

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This decision was made because of the actions of PAOK President Ivan Savidis, who invaded the field with a pistol during the derby with AEK yesterday.

It was later abandoned by the referee amid confusion and reports that he had, hours later, chose to allow the goal for a 1-0 PAOK win.

Photographs and footage showed Ivan Savvides, one of Greece's richest men, joining a pitch invasion in the closing minutes of a clash with Athens side AEK with what appeared to be a handgun strapped to his waist. PAOK was initially docked three points but overturned the decision on appeal.

It's unusual to see a pitch invasion from a owner anyway, but in this case events took an even stranger and slightly scary turn, as it was apparent that Savvidis was in possession of a firearm.

Although he did not remove anything from the holster, the 58-year-old had to be restrained while confronting referee Giorgios Kominis.

"It means that the provocative headlines in certain media are totally untrue. It's not prohibited in Greece.Savvidis has allowed himself some excessive emotions but, once again, he didn't threaten anybody with a gun".

"We are continuing the battle for transparency and better football".