• A judicial investigation has been ordered into PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis
  • Savvidis entered the field during the game with AEK carrying a pistol in a holster
  • He has apologised for what he called an ’emotional reaction’ to a disallowed goal

Associated Press Reporter

A Thessaloniki prosecutor ordered a judicial investigation Tuesday after the gun-toting owner of PAOK Thessaloniki marched onto the field following a disputed goal in a Greek league match.

Savvidis apologised Tuesday for what he called an ’emotional reaction’ to the referee’s decision and ‘the general negative condition in Greek soccer.’ 

The incident prompted condemnation from FIFA and an indefinite suspension of league play.

PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis walked onto the field carrying a gun in a holster on Sunday night

PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis walked onto the field carrying a gun in a holster on Sunday night

The probe will also investigate why police allegedly ignored instructions to arrest Ivan Savvidis on the spot, issued by a prosecutor on duty at Sunday’s game against AEK Athens.

Savvidis entered the field accompanied by bodyguards, apparently carrying a pistol in a waist holster. He made no visible move to use the weapon, for which he has a license.

Fernando Varela had just scored in the 90th minute, putting PAOK ahead 1-0. The referee signaled a goal but then seemed to disallow it for offside. The match was abandoned.

Savvidis apologised Tuesday for what he called an ’emotional reaction’ to the referee’s decision and ‘the general negative condition in Greek soccer.’

In a statement on the club’s website, Savvidis said his only intention had been ‘to protect tens of thousands of PAOK fans from provocations and clashes (with) victims.’ 

Savvidis was escorted away after taking to the pitch carrying a handgun in his waistband

Savvidis was escorted away after taking to the pitch carrying a handgun in his waistband

Savvidis was escorted away after taking to the pitch carrying a handgun in his waistband

PAOK had said in a statement: ‘After what happened today, PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis is preparing all necessary procedures to protect the team and all his collaborators from the threats and attacks they have been subjected to.

‘There will be relevant announcements on the issue soon.’ 

On Monday, Super League fixtures were suspended following the chaos. 

‘We have decided to interrupt the championship. It won’t start again unless there is a clear framework, agreed by all, to move forward with conditions and rules,’ Greek Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Georgios Vassiliadis said.  

 

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