Top Fifa, Uefa officials head to crisis-hit Greece

Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin holds a news conference in Brussels November 20, 2018. — Reuters pic
Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin holds a news conference in Brussels November 20, 2018. — Reuters pic

ATHENS, Feb 11 — Senior officials from Fifa and Uefa are scheduled to visit Athens on February 25 to help resolve a crisis affecting Greek football, the government said today

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin and Fifa vice president Greg Clarke “are expected to contribute to the consolidation of the framework so that we can reshape Greek football,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government has been drawn into a dispute between two of the country’s top clubs, PAOK Thessaloniki and Olympiakos Piraeus.

The Greek professional sports commission had previously recommended the relegation of current Super League champions PAOK over allegations of common ownership of fellow top-flight club Xanthi.

PAOK chief Ivan Savvidis was accused by Olympiakos of acquiring a stake in Xanthi through a family member, a claim which he denies.

The Thessaloniki club have called the accusations a “setup” engineered by arch-rivals and current league leaders Olympiakos.

In an effort to calm PAOK tempers, Mitsotakis’ government amended a law which replaces relegation with points deduction as the punishment for multiple team ownership.

Under the amended law PAOK would be docked five to 10 points rather than automatically relegated.

But the dispute is still rumbling on and Greek football authorities have yet to meet to discuss the issue, while any changes must be ratified by global body Fifa. — AFP

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