The father of UEFA’s new interim general secretary Theodore Theodoridis, a top official at Greek champions Olympiakos, has called on media to leave his son out of match-fixing talk concerning the club.
“They should leave my son out of it,” Olympiakos vice-president Savvas Theodoridis told sports daily Fos on Friday.
“(Theodore) is an outstanding boy, an asset to Greek football…he cares about all Greek clubs and has helped all Greek clubs, their own officials say so,” Theodoridis told the daily.
Theodore Theodoridis was appointed by UEFA as the organization’s interim general secretary on Friday to replace Gianni Infantino, the new FIFA president. He was previously Infantino’s deputy.
Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis has been banned from football activities by a Greek magistrate investigating a match-fixing scandal between 2011 and 2013.
He denies wrongdoing.
Marinakis, a 47-year-old shipping magnate, was recently cleared for lack of evidence in another match-fixing scandal involving the 2010/11 season.
Olympiakos have won six league titles and three league and cup doubles since Marinakis took over in August 2010. They clinched this season’s title last weekend with six games to spare.
A combative 81-year-old former goalkeeper who played at Olympiakos for over a decade, Savvas Theodoridis is the club’s dressing room enforcer and frequently gets into cockfights with rival club officials.
This week, he again found himself at the heart of controversy as crowd violence during a Greek Cup semi-final clash with PAOK in Thessaloniki on Wednesday prompted the game to be abandoned and the rest of the competition to be cancelled by the government.
“If it wasn’t for the police we would not have left the pitch alive,” he told Fos as he claimed that fans were throwing glass bottles at Olympiakos players.
Theodoridis is routinely singled out for abuse by fans but claims to enjoy it.
“(On Wednesday) they were swearing at me for four hours, but I was laughing. They should know that the more they swear at me, the more Olympiakos will beat them,” he said.