Greek football club PAOK president apologises after gun incident

"I am very sorry over what happened. I clearly had no right to enter the field of play in this fashion," Ivan Savvidis said in a statement.

Published: 14th March 2018 05:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2018 05:07 AM   |  A+A-

A picture taken on May 6, 2017, shows PAOK's Greek-Russian president Ivan Savvidis (C) holding the trophy after the cup-final match between PAOK Thessaloniki and AEK Athens in Volos. | AFP

By AFP

ATHENS: The president of Greek club PAOK on Tuesday apologised after storming onto the pitch with a holstered gun tucked in his belt, an incident that prompted the indefinite suspension of the championship.

"I am very sorry over what happened. I clearly had no right to enter the field of play in this fashion," Ivan Savvidis said in a statement.

Savvidis, a Greek-Russian businessman with important holdings in Greece and rumoured close links with the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, has been on the run since an arrest was issued for his arrest on Monday.

In Tuesday's statement, he denied claims that he bickered with the referee and an official from the opponents, AEK Athens, and claimed his foray onto the pitch was aimed at preventing violence from breaking out.

Savvidis stormed onto the field at the 90th minute after a game-winning goal against AEK had been deemed offside.

PAOK and AEK are in a neck-and-neck race for the championship, which would be the first for either team for more than two decades.

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