Owner carrying firearm halts game in Greece

A disputed goal at the end of a Greek league match on Sunday between leader AEK and title rival PAOK led to a pitch invasion by one of the team owners, who appeared to be carrying a gun.

PAOK said in a statement: “After what happened today, PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis is preparing all necessary procedures to protect the team and all his collaborators from the threats and attacks they have been subjected to.

PAOK’s previous home game against another title rival, Olympiakos never started after Olympiakos coach Oscar Garcia was hit in the face by a cash register paper roll.

After claiming that the current season was the “cleanest and most exciting” because of the government’s attempt to clean up the game, Vasileiadis said “we will not allow anyone to divert us from our task, even if we have to, in consultation with UEFA, to take difficult decisions.” After the non-starter against Olympiakos, PAOK was fined and deducted three points, the game was declared a 3-0 victory for Olympiakos and PAOK was due to have played its next two home games in front of empty stands.

But an appeals panel decided early Sunday morning to void the points deduction and to allow PAOK to play inside a full stadium, although the result remained in Olympiakos’ favor.

If a PAOK official is judged to have threatened the referee as well as the AEK official, the team could potentially face relegation.