Statement by Ivan Savvidis
In the aftermath of latest events in Toumba Stadium, PAOK FC President Ivan Savvidis made the following statement:
I wish to apologize to all PAOK supporters, Greek fans and the international football community.
I am deeply sorry for what happened. I had absolutely no right to enter the pitch the way I did.
My emotional reaction stems from the widespread negative situations prevailing in Greek football lately and from all the unacceptable, non sports-related events that took place towards the end of the PAOK – AEK Athens encounter: the actions of the referee and his assistant (goal – offside – goal), the match suspension, the protests and invasion on the pitch by many people from both sides.
All that could lead to uncontrollable situations. My only aim was to protect tens of thousands of PAOK fans from provocation, riots and human casualties.
Please believe that I had no intention to engage in a brawl with our opponents or the referees. And Ι obviously did not threaten anybody.
Unfortunately, my family and I, as well as my colleagues, have been taken hostage by a totally sick football status-quo.
Despite the non-stop attacks I am facing on all fronts, I fight and I will continue to fight for fair football, equitable refereeing in all encounters and titles being won on the pitch and not in courtrooms.
I would like to apologize once again.
PAOK FC President