“Clearly I did not have the right.”
Ivan Savvidis, the gun-toting PAOK president who stormed the pitch during his side’s Greek Superleague match against AEK Athens, has issued an apology for his part in the chaotic scenes that have brought football in the country to a standstill.
The Russian oligarch, one of Greece’s richest men, furiously marched on the field after the referee disallowed a PAOK goal in the 89th minute. The match was abandoned and the Greek Superleague has since been suspended by the government.
PAOK’s owner Ivan Savvidis has to be held back from attacking the ref after his team’s last minute goal was disallowedpic.twitter.com/ZZLhRFvv8L
— gza gee (@AFC_Gilles_) March 11, 2018
Savvidis’ apology turns into something more startling, claiming that he was aiming to protect PAOK fans from ‘provocations’ and ‘human casualties.’ He also fails to mention that he was in possession of a holstered firearm.
“I want to apologise to all the fans of PAOK, all Greek fans, the global football community,” Savvidis said in a statement released on PAOK’s website. “I am very sorry for what happened. Clearly I did not have the right to go out on the pitch in this way.
“My emotional reaction has been caused by the generalised negative situation prevailing in Greek football lately and by all the unacceptable, non-athletic events that took place towards the end of the PAOK-AEK – the actions of the referee and the supervisor (goal – offside – goal), the interruption of…