icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Gun-toting Greek football president handed 3-year ban for armed pitch invasion

Gun-toting Greek football president handed 3-year ban for armed pitch invasion
The president of Greek club PAOK, Ivan Savvidis, has been banned from all football stadiums for three years after he stormed the pitch armed with a gun to confront a match official.

PAOK have also been docked three points as part of the punishment, effectively ending their title hopes, the league’s disciplinary committee said on Thursday.

Greek-Russian businessman Savvidis charged onto the field of play when he was aggrieved that his side had been denied a last minute goal against fellow title challengers AEK Athens on March 11.

The game was tied at 0-0 when PAOK’s Fernando Varela netted a goal in the 90th minute to give his team the lead. However, referee Georgios Kominis disallowed the goal, ruling that the player was offside.

Georgian-born billionaire Savvidis marched onto the pitch at Toumba Stadium twice, accompanied by bodyguards. The second time, he took off his coat to reveal he was carrying a pistol in his belt buckle.

AEK officials claimed that Savvidis threatened the referee during the first time he came onto the pitch before being pulled away. AEK coach Manolo Jimenez told Spanish radio that Savvidis intimidated Kominis saying that his “career as a referee has ended.”

PAOK now sit in third place after the points deduction, five points behind leaders AEK with six games left to play in the Greek Superleague.

READ MORE: Greek football match abandoned after gun-toting owner storms pitch to confront referee

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.