Gun-Carrying PAOK Boss Faces Strict Charges by FIFA

Gun-Carrying PAOK Boss Faces Strict Charges by FIFAGun-Carrying PAOK Boss Faces Strict Charges by FIFA

PAOK Salonika President Ivan Savvides on Wednesday faced disciplinary charges that could lead to a lengthy stadium ban and points deduction for his team, after he stormed onto the pitch with what appeared to be a handgun on his waist.

The Georgia-born businessman’s pitch invasion on Sunday triggered a suspension of football matches in Greece with world soccer’s governing body FIFA in town for talks, Reuters reported.

In a brief statement, the Greek football federation said Savvides had been charged with a series of football code violations, including making threats, which carry a fine and a potential stadium ban of up to five years.

The top division Superleague’s disciplinary body will now be responsible for any further action, a league official said.

Savvides’ team could also be punished with points deduction. This could put the team out of the running for the title which it was competing for before Sunday’s match.

The charges were announced as Herbert Huebel, who heads a monitoring committee set up by FIFA last year for Greek football, met Deputy Culture and Sport Minister Georgios Vassiliadis and federation officials.

Greece has indefinitely suspended matches after Savvides was filmed wearing a holster that appeared to contain a gun as he strode onto the pitch to protest about a PAOK disallowed goal against AEK Athens at the weekend.

The game was abandoned and later awarded to PAOK 1-0 following the controversial goal that had prompted the initial protests.

Savvides apologized for his actions in a club statement on Tuesday, but the European Club Association suspended the Greek side as a member with immediate effect.

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