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Greek football – A Parody of Itself

Greek Cup

The Greek Cup Final was called off last week, and nobody knows when it will happen, proving once again that Greek football is in deep crisis and nothing is expected to change soon.

Greek Cup

Although Greek football isn’t as prestigious as it’s European counterparts in Spain, Germany, and England. Many people believed that things would change after the Greek national team shocked the world and claimed the European Championship in 2004.

12 years later, the situation is worse than before as violent incidents, alleged corruption, unpaid wages, and economic troubles have left the sport in crisis.

The confrontation between the Greek Football Federation’s president, Giorgos Girtzikis, and the Greek Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport, Stavros Kontonis, brought the country a step away from being banned from UEFA’s and FIFA’s competitions, a development that would have severe consequences for all Greek clubs.

This was due to the violent incidents that took place in the first leg of the semi-finals between PAOK Thessaloniki and Olympiacos Piraeus, causing the Deputy Minister to call off the Greek Cup.

However, as he wasn’t authorised to do so, FIFA and UEFA representatives warned him that they would ban Greece from all competitions, unless he reversed his decision.

Consequently, things changed and Olympiacos and AEK Athens advanced to the Final, although it’s still uncertain whether they will play against each other.

UEFA, FIFA

And here starts the parody. It was announced that only 300 people would be allowed to watch the game in the stadium, and the Federation’s decision to choose a specific referee and linesmen caused the reaction of the Deputy Minister, who called off the Final.

That said, all sides are now trying to find a solution, given that the Greek league’s playoffs are also set to take place in the next three weeks.

So, the question now is whether the situation will change for the better, or FIFA and UEFA will again threaten to ban Greek football.

The main problem is that the Federation’s administration, along with referees and clubs’ owners, are currently being investigated in a fixing scandal, in a case that has its roots as far back as 2011.

So, the Deputy Minister wants to change that situation, however his issue is that he has no plan at all. And since the Federation doesn’t back down from its plan, it’s unlikely for both sides to reach an agreement.

That’s why the whole situation is a parody, as the Deputy Minister only decides to call off matches and does nothing else to turn things around, causing the annoyance of everybody (including the clubs and fans).

Girtzikis, Kontonis, UEFA

That said, if all sides (teams, Federation, Deputy Minister) refuse to see the bigger picture and find a solution, it’s almost certain that things will go out of control and UEFA and FIFA will ban the country from all competitions, which will be destructive for the Greek football.

One way or another, no matter when the Final will take place, if nobody changes their way of thinking, then Greek football will continue to be a farce.

 

*Images from: www.sigmalive.com, www.skai.gr, www.onsports.gr

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