Soccer votes to suspend itself
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.