Greek football has been dragged into a corruption scandal after the car of a judge in charge of a case involving officials from the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) was smashed with a metal bar.
Three members of the HFF, Panagiotis Dimitriou, Stergios Antoniou and Klearchos Tzaferis, have been accused of breaking statues after waiving licensing regulations for 10 clubs in the SuperLeague 2, the second tier of football in Greece.
No decision has yet been made on the punishment the men will receive if found guilty, although they have already been removed from their positions. However, the Ethics Committee are set to judge further. The HFF have strongly denied any involvement.
But in a disturbing twist, the judge placed in charge of the case has seen his car vandalised outside his home. According to reports, the incident took place ‘just a few hours’ after he was selected.
He is also believed to have resigned almost immediately.
In response to the damage, the Deputy Minister of Sports, Lefteris Avgenakis, said that the intimidation is ‘the drop that overflows the glass’.
Greek football has been dragged into a corruption scandal after a judge overseeing a case involving football federation officials saw his car’s windscreen smashed by unnamed culprits
His statement said that the government in Greece, in cooperation with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and Greg Clarke, FIFA’s former vice-president, envisioned a ‘transparent’ new era for the sport in the country.
It went on to add, though: ‘Instead, the Harmonized Study and the modernized Statute are ignored for months, the resignations of healthy footballers follow one another, the competent courts reject scandalous administrative decisions and the devaluation intensifies with a geometric progression.
‘The Greek Police and the Judiciary will play their full role in the face of the phenomena of lawlessness and terrorism.
‘But it is also a time of responsibility for the football authorities above: Time for FIFA and UEFA to defend the Holistic Study, to guarantee and implement the obvious in order to overcome the situations of anomaly. With the State as an ally that will not be left out.’
Deputy Minister of Sports, Lefteris Avgenakis, said that the Greek government were looking to a ‘transparent’ new era, in cooperation with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin (pictured)
In a statement on their website, the HFF have vehemently denied any involvement in the attack and condemned it.
‘The Hellenic Football Federation expresses its disapproval and disgust for the reported attack on the vehicle of a member of the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal and the Football Arbitration Court of the Hellenic Football Federation,’ it read.
‘In view of the completion of the ongoing police investigation, the Hellenic Football Federation also expresses its surprise at the attempt of specific media to link this attack with cases that are to be examined in the BTI and with Greek Football as a whole.
‘We shamefully condemn mafia methods against judicial officials, but also the artificial attempt to involve football in parastatal methods.
A media report in Greece has alleged that football there is governed by people with ‘no limits’
‘The Police will shed light on all aspects of the case after the ongoing investigation, therefore those who invest in communication in the destabilization of the institutions of Greek Football through these events should wait because they will be exposed again.’
A scathing media report in Greece has alleged that football there is ‘governed by people who have no limits’. It goes on to say: ‘Laws do not exist, the Statute is being constantly violated, so do HFF (EPO) Regulations.’
‘In the past 8 months, it has been proven beyond any doubt that the current HFF (EPO) Administration has no second thoughts when it comes to violating the Statute and HFF (EPO) Regulations and abuse its power, in order to serve specific interests of those who truly and unlawfully govern Greek football,’ the report adds.
Previously, Angelos Charisteas, a Euro 2004 winner with Greece, has opened up to Football365 on his belief that ‘some big clubs try to control everything’.
Angelos Charisteas, a Euro 2004 winner with Greece, says ‘big clubs try to control everything’
‘Some big clubs try to control everything, and that’s why we didn’t focus to create good teams and to develop players, young players, etc,’ he said.
‘We are, you know, thinking more how to control the referees, how to control everything around football [off the pitch].
‘Some clubs decide who is going to be the president and also the people around him, and the other clubs are there just to watch the movie.’
‘I think UEFA should press and put their own people and rules in Greek football, otherwise we will never change, we will never improve the level of Greek football,’ Charisteas added, appealing to the authorities to step in.