Greek game interrupted after ‘armed’ owner protests decision
ATHENS, Greece – 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.
Fernando Varela scored with a header in the 90th minute, putting host PAOK ahead 1-0 in the northern city of Thessaloniki. The referee signaled a goal but then seemed to disallow it for offside.
PAOK’s owner, businessman Ivan Savvidis, came on the field twice and was accompanied by bodyguards. On the second occasion, without the overcoat he was wearing before, Savvidis appeared to be carrying a pistol which was in its holder.
AEK officials claimed Savvidis threatened the referee during his first foray onto the pitch, before being pulled away.
The game was suspended and the stadium has now been emptied of fans. Adding to the widespread confusion, there were claims that the referee, Giorgos Kominis, had actually allowed the goal.
An official statement is expected from the Greek league.