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Gun-carrying PAOK boss faces disciplinary charges as FIFA arrives

Gun-carrying PAOK boss faces disciplinary charges as FIFA arrives

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

Savvidis invaded the pitch along with members of his security detail after PAOK's Fernando Varela had what he thought was an 89th-minute victor rule out for offside.

The Georgian-born 58-year-old has since apologised but his actions could force FIFA to suspend the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF).

Federation Internationale de Football Association has already warned Greek sporting authorities that failure to implement swift reforms could lead to the country's suspension from worldwide competition.

In a statement published on PAOK's website, Savvidis said: "I wish to apologise to all PAOK supporters, Greek fans and the worldwide football community". I had absolutely no right to enter the pitch the way I did. "Greek football is going to an edge", he told reporters.

"All of this created a degraded situation on the pitch and my only goal was to protect tens of thousands of PAOK fans from provocations - complications - human casualties", he said. So maybe Savvidis is protecting PAOK fans after all, just not in the way he claimed. Please believe I had no intention to engage in a brawl with our opponents or the referees. And I certainly did not threaten anyone.

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"Unfortunately, my family and I, as well as my colleagues, have been taken hostage by a totally sick football status-quo".

"Despite attacks at all levels, I will continue to fight for fair soccer and honorable refereeing in all matches, so that games are won on the pitch and not in courtrooms", he said.

Despite Savvidis' apology, the European Club Association - the UEFA-recognised body representing the interests of professional clubs across the continent - has moved to suspend PAOK's membership on account of his actions.

"In accordance with the ECA Statutes, the ECA Executive Board unanimously made a decision to suspend, with immediate effect, PAOK FC as member of the European Club Association", the influential European body explained in a statement.

In a statement, the ECA confirmed the suspension of PAOK would remain in effect until further notice and would be discussed at the umbrella group's General Assembly in Rome on March 27.

Olympiakos boss Oscar Garcia was hit in the head with a roll of toilet paper, forcing the match to be abandoned.


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