Soc­cer votes to sus­pend it­self

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Fol­low­ing an­other sea­son be­dev­iled by vi­o­lence, scan­dal and sus­pi­cion of corruption at all lev­els, Greek soc­cer has de­cided to sus­pend all ac­tiv­ity for two weeks.

The pres­i­dent of the Hel­lenic Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (HFF), So­fok­lis Pilavios, asked the coun­try’s soc­cer as­so­ci­a­tion to vote on his sug­ges­tion of a two-week sus­pen­sion and the sup­port for his ini­tia­tive was over­whelm­ing: Forty­nine voted in fa­vor, seven against and one “present.”

“The sit­u­a­tion is some­where be­tween dif­fi­cult and tragic,” Pilavios said yes­ter­day. “The only de­fense against this is to have a sport that is com­pre­hen­sively con­trolled.” The HFF chair­man claimed he had re­ceived per­sonal threats over the fed­er­a­tion’s re­fusal to is­sue op­er­at­ing per­mits to top-flight Irak­lis and sec­ond-divi­sion OFI Crete. But the whole sea­son was rid­dled with prob­lems.

Pilavios said he wants to use the two weeks to dis­cuss with soc­cer’s “healthy el­e­ments” ways of im­prov­ing the game. The sus­pen­sion will not af­fect Greece’s Euro 2012 qual­i­fier against Malta tonight but has led to the sus­pen­sion of sec­ond-and third-divi­sion play­offs.

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