A potential championship deciding soccer game in Greece was marred by a downright crazy incident in the final few minutes, when PAOK (currently third in the Greek Superleague) owner Ivan Savvidis stormed the field with two body guards. He was upset that a PAOK goal, which would have likely been the game winner against first place AEK Athens, was called off by the referee.
Savvidis appeared to order his players off the field in protest of the call, and then starts to angrily yell at the referee. Although it wasn’t obvious at first, it was soon revealed that Savvidis was actually armed with a pistol. When he removed his jacket, the gun could be clearly seen in a holster on his right hip.
Since the match was not technically over, the referees suspended the match. A short while later, they cancelled it altogether. Even stranger, the officials who initially ruled that PAOK’s late winner would be disallowed later decided that the goal would stand. While that technically gave PAOK a huge 1-0 win, the Greek Superleague’s official website still lists the result as a 0-0 draw. So who knows what will happen.
Here’s what AEK Athens manager Manolo Jimenez had to say after the game, according to The Telegraph‘s translation from a Spanish radio station:
“We didn’t know if he had a gun, then we saw it,” AEK’S Jimenez told Cadena SER. “It could be seen that he was moving his hand towards his waist because he had a gun.”
He added: “He threatened the referee right in front of me. According to my interpreter, he told him: ‘You’re finished as a referee’.
“I’m stunned; I don’t understand it. It’s the type of thing you expect to see in a Clint Eastwood movie.”
Local police have reportedly issued a warrant for Savvidis’s arrest, but not because he was packing heat. It’s merely for invading the pitch, which is also against the law. The Greek Superleague has also been suspended entirely, following a meeting between the country’s Prime Minister and the Minister of Sport.
It’s just a game, guys.