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Greek soccer faces FIFA expulsion because of violence

Ivan Savvidis

In this Sunday, March 11, 2018 photo, PAOK owner, businessman Ivan Savvidis, second right, approaches AEK Athens’ Manager Operation Department Vassilis Dimitriadis, second left, as his bodyguard and PAOK’s player Fernando Varela from Portugal, center, try to stop him during the Greek League soccer match between PAOK and AEK Athens in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. A disputed goal at the end of the Greek league match led to a pitch invasion by Savvidis, who appeared to be carrying a gun. (AP Photo)


ATHENS, Greece (AP) A FIFA representative says Greece could be expelled from international soccer competitions because of widespread violence.

Herbert Huebel says a series of incidents, culminating with a gun-toting club owner running onto the field to protest a disallowed goal, are “to be very polite, unacceptable.”

Huebel met with government and league officials in Athens on Wednesday following Sunday’s incident in Thessaloniki at a league match between PAOK Thessaloniki and AEK Athens. The government has indefinitely suspended league play after PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis rushed onto the field when the referee disallowed the goal.

The Greek soccer federation says it will draft a declaration against violence by March 23, after which the government will review its position.