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Greek soccer faces FIFA expulsion because of violence

AP  |  Athens 

could be expelled from international competitions because of widespread violence, a said today.

said a series of incidents, culminating with a gun-toting club owner running onto the field to protest a disallowed goal, are "unacceptable."

"Greek is going to an edge," Huebel said, adding that a potential Greek suspension from international "is not any more impossible."

Huebel met with government and league officials in following Sunday's incident in Thessaloniki at a league match between PAOK Thessaloniki and AEK

The government has indefinitely suspended league play after PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis -- a Russian with strong business interests in -- rushed onto the field, accompanied by bodyguards and with a holstered gun strapped to his waist, when the referee disallowed the goal.

organizers launched disciplinary procedures against Savvidis and PAOK on Wednesday, which could lead to the team being docked points or even relegated, and a maximum five-year ban for its owner.

"We all love but it's unbearable that people are scared to go to a stadium," Huebel said.

"How can you bring children there when there are guns on the pitch? "The aim of the game is always to win, of course," he added. "But it can't be forced by arms, by threats or even by crime."

Following today's talks, Greek federation said league officials will draft a declaration against violence by March 23, after which the government will review its position on the league suspension.

"It was decided that professional soccer (officials) will commit in writing to a framework concerning violence inside and outside stadiums, and concerning stadium security," Grammenos said.

"If the for finds these commitments satisfactory he will decide on whether to revoke his decision." Huebel said he would make his report to in about 10 days.

"The report will be serious," the Austrian said. "We don't know what the decisions by will be. There's a wide range which finally ends up at the ... The jurisdiction of and FIFA can be a very strict one." A public has ordered a judicial investigation, which will also look into why police allegedly ignored instructions by a to arrest Savvidis on the spot.

Savvidis has apologised for his behaviour.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 20:10 IST