PAOK fail to show for Greek Cup semi-final

Photo credit: AFP

Photo credit: AFP

PAOK failed to show up for their Greek Cup semi-final second leg away to Olympiakos on Wednesday as they promised and now face more disciplinary action from the country’s football federation.

The move by the Thessaloniki club had been pre-announced by Greek-Russian owner Ivan Savvidis, who was angry after they were punished for crowd violence during the first leg on March 3.

PAOK were fined 100,000 euros (£78,000; $113,000), docked three points from next season’s Greek Super League and ordered to play three matches behind closed doors.

The Greek federation will most likely now deduct three more points from PAOK and slap them with a heavy fine for not showing up at the Karaiskakis Stadium in the Athens port of Piraeus.

The refusal to show up means Olympiakos will be awarded an automatic 3-0 win and will go on to face AEK in the final at the Athens Olympic Stadium on May 7 in an attempt to win the double.

Olympiakos had also been awarded a 3-0 win in the first leg, which was abandoned in the 89th minute when PAOK fans invaded the pitch and dozens of flares and smoke bombs were thrown from the stands.

In that match, Olympiakos had been leading 2-1.

Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis took the radical measure of cancelling the Cup after the incidents for fear of violence in upcoming contests, a move which angered the Greek federation, FIFA and UEFA.

Pressure from FIFA forced Kontonis to back down on his decision with a compromise that the remaining matches be played behind closed doors.

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