The president of the PAOK football club, Ivan Savvidi, apologized for the failure of the PAOK-AEK match in Thessaloniki, which he provoked on March 11. His application is published on the club’s website.
I apologize to all fans of PAOK, the Greek fans in general, the world football community. I’m sorry about what happened. Of course, I had no right to go on the field in this way.
According to Savvidi, his “emotional reaction” was provoked by the “general negative situation” in Greek football. He also noted that before the end of the PAOK-AEK match, there were “unsportsmanlike events”, among which he mentioned the actions of the referee, the stoppage of the game and the emergence of dozens of players of both teams on the field.
All this could create an “explosive atmosphere” in the stadium, and the entrance to the field Savvidi wanted to protect the stadium and fans from provocations, riots and victims.
Believe me, I had no intention of arranging trials with the opposing team or the judges. And, of course, I did not threaten anyone. […] Despite the endless attacks at all levels, I always acted and will advocate for fair football, for fair refereeing in all matches, for the championship that is won at the stadium, and not in the courtrooms.
On March 11 Savvidi ran out on the field in the 90th minute of the match with the score 0: 0, on the belt he had a holster. Then he allegedly showed the judge his weapon and said that his career is over. Later, the Greek prosecutor’s office brought charges against him in violation of sports regulations, the threat of weapons in the statement of the agency was not said.
Two hours after the end of the match it became known that the referee still scored a goal scored by PAOK after discussing the controversial episode with the judge. Thus, the team Savvidi won with a score of 1-0 – the Athens players refused to continue the match for security reasons.