A gun-carrying Greek soccer team owner stormed the pitch after a goal scored by his team was disallowed, resulting in a tie at Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki.
March 12 (UPI) — A gun-carrying Greek soccer team owner stormed the pitch after a goal scored by his team was disallowed, resulting in a tie at Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki.
An arrest warrant has been issued for PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis, according to reports .
PAOK and AEK tied their Superleague Greece matchup 0-0 Sunday in Greece, after Savvidis ran on the pitch with his holstered weapon. The match was postponed after Savvidis and a group of associates walked onto the field. The angry group was prompted after a PAOK score by Fernando Varela was disallowed in the 90th minute.
Savvidis walked onto the pitch twice, along with bodyguards, according to the Guardian. AEK coach Manolo Jiminez told Spanish radio that Savvidis confronted referee Giorgios Kominis and told him his “career as a referee has ended,” according to Marca.
PAOK claimed victory after the match, via Twitter. The club said the game “ended with a score of 1-0 ” and referees were compiling the match sheet. The Superleague Greece website also has PAOK winning the match 1-0, but still has the game listed as “live.”
PAOK also issued a statement on Monday.
“After what happened today in Toumba Stadium, PAOK FC president Ivan Savvidis is preparing to take all necessary steps to protect the club and all his executives and associates from the threats and attacks they are suffering,” the statement said. “More relevant announcements to be made shortly.”
Savvidis issued a longer statement, claiming the club’s opponents are trying to “take advantage” of his club.
“Dear friends, I appeal to those who are not indifferent to the fate of our beloved PAOK,” Savvidis’ statement said on Sunday . “We have all witnessed the way our opponents are trying to take advantage of us and the slightest event. I invite you all, once you loved our black and white colors, to become a shield against any provocation and remember: PAOK’s honor is in our hands and our strength is not only in unity but also in the ability to control our feelings, excluding actions that can be used against our team.”
“Besides, in the past, before any external threat, we were united, and with the voice we supported the group. I continue to believe in ourselves and in Greek justice and will continue to do everything in order to protect PAOK’s legitimate interests. Thank you and hope in understanding.”
“The match PAOK FC-AEK FC was abandoned at the 90th minute due to pitch invation from PAOK FC owner Ivan Savvidis and his guard,” AEK said in a statement on its website.
Four addition individuals are also wanted by police, according to Skai TV .
FIFA released a statement to the BBC, saying: it “is aware of the incident. First of all, FIFA fully condemns such behavior. Given that this incident occurred in the context of a national competition, any disciplinary measure to be imposed falls under the jurisdiction of the deciding bodies of the Greek FA.”
Savvidis is a former member of the Russian parliament. The 58-year-old is worth $530 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.