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Greece suspends Superleague after PAOK boss invades pitch with handgun

Greece suspends Superleague after PAOK boss invades pitch with handgun
By Robert Hackwill
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Sports Minister condemns action by one of Greece's richest men, who wears holstered automatic alongside bodyguards when confronting referee after disallowed goal.


All Greek superleague fixtures have been suspended indefinitely after one of Greece's richest men and the owner of Thessalonika's PAOK staged an armed pitch invasion.

The Sunday night uproar has sparked the Sports Minister to announce "bold decisions" to tackle ground violence.

The Georgian-born former member of the Russian parliament Ivan Savvidis was angred at a disallowed goal in the 89th minute, and was accompanied onto the pitch by bodyguards.

The game ended up as a goalless draw, but the referee finally allowed the goal about two hours later, state TV reported.

Savvidis has holdings in assets ranging from Thessaloniki port to tobacco and media companies, and is a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Greek soccer fixtures are frequently marred by violence, with a big derby called off last month after the Olympiakos coach was hit by a projectile thrown from the stands.

Authorities say they are committed to cleaning up the sport.

It seems things have been a little spicy at the club of late
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