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President of Greek club PAOK Salonika apologises after invading pitch with a gun

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    Savvidis entered the pitch after Fernando Varela’s goal was ruled out for offside

    The president of Greek club PAOK Salonika has apologised after he invaded the pitch with a gun during his side’s match on Sunday.

    Ivan Savvidis had a gun in a holster when he entered the field after PAOK had a late goal ruled out for offside against AEK Athens.

    The incident led to the Greek Super League being indefinitely suspended.

    “I am very sorry. I clearly had no right to enter the field of play in this fashion,” said Savvidis.

    On Monday, local police said they were seeking Savvidis to arrest him.

    World governing body Fifa also threatened to suspend Greece from international competition and “expects” the national governing body to take “appropriate measures and rapidly”.

    Deputy sports minister Giorgos Vasiliadis announced that the league had been suspended on Monday after after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

    However league president Giorgos Stratos has opposed the decision and claimed the suspension “does not benefit anyone or anything”.

    “The suspension cancels out anything positive that has been done,” he added. “The suspension endangers the entire sport of football beyond the financial consequences.”

    Savvidis, one of Greece’s richest men, was born in Georgia of Greek heritage and is a former member of the Russian parliament.

    He asked his team to leave the pitch after PAOK had a goal ruled out for offside in the 89th minute and then marched towards the referee with two bodyguards before being pulled back.

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