Club president invades pitch with gun

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PAOK's owner, Ivan Savvidis confronted the match officials with a gun protruding from a holster in his belt. We know this not because he railed to the media or demanded an explanation from league officials, as most unhappy team owners would, but rather because he made a decision to twice storm the field while armed with a holstered handgun and surrounded by bodyguards.

When PAOK will have the opportunity to remedy that slump is now anyone's guess after Deputy Minister of Sport George Vassiliadis announced all matches would be suspended until further notice.

A disputed goal at the end of a Greek league match on Sunday between leader AEK and title rival PAOK led to a pitch invasion by one of the team owners, who appeared to be carrying a gun.

"The referee has invalidated the goal for offside, there was a brawl and many people entered the pitch, including [PAOK's] president, with bodyguards".

Controversy has marred Greek football over recent years.

Savvidis, one of Greece's richest men, was born in Georgia of Greek heritage and is a former member of the Russian parliament.

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This decision was made because of the actions of PAOK President Ivan Savidis, who invaded the field with a pistol during the derby with AEK yesterday.

PAOK Salonika went on to be declared the victor after the referee reversed his decision two hours after the game and allowed the goal. PAOK was initially deducted three points for the abandonment, but had the sanction overturned on appeal.

The 58-year-old approached the referee before being whisked away by his security team.

PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis might have deserved a red card for this.

But as he walked onto the pitch, it became visible that he had a hand gun placed in a hip holster. "It's not prohibited in Greece.Savvidis has allowed himself some excessive emotions but, once again, he didn't threaten anybody with a gun".

In a rare step, the U.S. embassy in Athens later expressed concern over the issue, suggesting a lack of transparency over the funding behind the deal.