Athens: Greek teams face a ban from international competition after a meeting on Wednesday between the country’s government, FIFA and UEFA officials failed to provide a resolution to the cancelled Greek Cup competition.
Greece’s Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis refused to rescind an earlier decision to cancel remaining Greek Cup contests because of the fear of violence while FIFA and UEFA representatives insisted that his refusal could lead to a suspension.
“We discussed the minister’s decision to suspend the Greek Cup. This decision is not acceptable to us,” said Cyprus Football Association president Kostakis Koutsokoumnis, who was one of the FIFA representatives at the meeting.
Koutsokoumnis said that FIFA saw it as a more positive move to cancel all football in Greece “if there is a risk of violence, but not to target only the Greek Cup”.
He added that the Cup, which had reached the semi-final stage, could resume with measures such as the use of cameras, playing on neutral pitches or even with foreign referees.
“We have given a week deadline for the minister to change his decision, but I fear that this will not happen,” Koutsokoumnis admitted.
He said that there will be consequences for the Greek national team as well as clubs participating in European competition which would include Greece losing a place in the Europa League.
Greek FA president Giorgos Girtzikis declined to comment and said he would wait for further developments.
Outside the meeting some 30 members of the AEK fan club, Original 21, handed out a statement criticising UEFA and FIFA for not taking action against the Greek federation.
“You know how the Greek federation, which you struggle to cover up and protect with the famous ‘self-regulation’, not only does nothing to protect football, but protects – and actually maintains – those who do unlawful business,” the statement said.
“All these years you have done nothing to change this situation,” it added.