ATHENS: PAOK Salonika president Ivan Savvidis has been banned from all football stadiums for three years for storming on to the pitch with a gun during a Greek league match.
Savvidis was also fined €100,000 while PAOK were penalised three points, ending their title chances, fined an additional €63,000 and ordered to play three matches behind closed doors. They have also been penalised two points next season.
The Georgia-born businessman, a former Russian state Duma deputy, charged on to the pitch with a gun in his belt when a goal for PAOK was disallowed in a match against fellow title contenders AEK Athens on March 11.
The game was interrupted and the incident prompted an immediate suspension of the league by the Greek government as world football’s governing body FIFA considers action against Greece over repeated crowd trouble and violence in stadiums.
PAOK sports director Lubos Michel, a former international referee, was banned for 90 days and fined €15,000 after also entering the pitch and complaining to the referee. The club declared it would appeal.
A statement said: “The sanction is harsh and was delivered under the pressure of a coordinated media storm against PAOK. We are proceeding with an appeal and await to be judged on real facts.”
The Hellenic Football Federation said a FIFA monitoring group for Greek football would recommend the suspension of the country based on the current conditions.
It added: “The monitoring group unanimously proposes the immediate suspension of the membership of the Hellenic Football Federation from FIFA.”
FIFA is set to discuss the matter in two months at a council meeting but the federation plans to push through changes rapidly.
The government lifted a ban on league football on Tuesday with the programme matches set to resume at the weekend.