Greek Super League suspended after PAOK Salonika president invades pitch with gun


The Greek Super League has been indefinitely suspended after PAOK Salonika’s president invaded the pitch with a gun during a match on Sunday.

Ivan Savvidis tried to confront the referee with a gun in a hip holster after his side had a late goal ruled out for offside against AEK Athens.

AEK’s players left the pitch concerned for their safety and did not return.

The match was officially abandoned two hours later and local police are seeking Savvidis to arrest him.

Deputy Sports Minister Giorgos Vasiliadis announced the abandonment of all top-flight matches on Monday after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“It won’t start again unless there is a clear framework, agreed by all, to move forward with conditions and rules,” he added.

World football governing body Fifa and European chiefs Uefa both condemned the incident but said any disciplinary measures “fall under the jurisdiction of the Greek FA”.

Who is Savvidis and what did he do?

Savvidis, one of Greece’s richest men, was born in Georgia of Greek heritage and is a former member of the Russian parliament.

He asked his team to leave the pitch after PAOK had a goal ruled out for offside in the 89th minute and then marched towards the referee with two bodyguards before being pulled back.

PAOK are third in the Greek top flight and could have moved within two points of leaders AEK with a win.

The club was deducted three points – but managed to overturn the sanction on appeal – after Olympiakos Piraeus coach Oscar Garcia was hit by a roll of paper thrown from the stands at PAOK.

Gun in PAOK president's pocket
Savvidis entered the pitch with a gun in a hip holster

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