That’s why the PAOK boss wore a gun.
Exclusive Munich – In the scandalous game of Thessaloniki against Athens, the PAOK president carries a weapon with him. Former professional Miki Stevic, a familiar of the club boss, explains the background at SPORT1.
The night of shame held many people in suspense.
The Greek top game between cup winner PAOK Saloniki and front-runner AEK Athens had to be abandoned on Sunday, several people ran into the field, including PAOK President Ivan Savvidis – with a weapon on his belt.
At SPORT1, he explains to former Bundesliga professional Miroslav “Miki” Stevic (1860 Munich, Borussia Dortmund) who has known the club boss well for three years, what lies behind this scene, which has caused a stir in the international media.
“Stevic looks back on the game:” The President’s reaction, of course, is not normal. He carried the gun because he, his family and many employees were threatened. There were bomb threats and phone calls.”
The 48-year-old continued:”Savvidis acquired a firearms license a month ago. The weapon fell into oblivion due to the emotional threat and was not intended for deployment. He never threatened anyone.”
Savvidis only wanted to prevent the fans from rushing into the pitch, Stevic said.
“His bad luck was that he took off his coat. Of course he has no business on the court, but he didn’t threaten anyone. Savvidis also saw his mistake. He’s never rushed into the square before, he’s always been in his box.”
In 2015, the first contact between Stevic and Savvidis took place during the transfer of Gojko Cimirot to Saloniki. Through various other changes the two men know each other well.
Stevic breaks a lance for Stavvidis:”The President is a kind heartbeat man.” His dream is that PAOK will become Greek champion again after many years.”
He put “a lot of energy, soul and money into the club. The club has developed enormously under him and the conditions are almost like in a German club. This is the only club in Greece that pays its players’ wages on time.”
Savvidis is “with heart and soul” at this association. PAOK is his life”. In Instagram and Twitter, many players have commented positively on him,”Stevic points out.
Savvidis is above all “an old-school person with German virtues such as punctuality”, praises Stevic. The players would also stand behind the club boss,”No player has ever complained about him. He’s like a father to the players. You often try to provoke him because you know how much he loves PAOK.”
The chaos on the square condemns Stevic:”But in the end, these weren’t nice pictures and that can’t happen.”
After tumultuous scenes, the referee ended the match prematurely on Sunday, the AEK players had already left the pitch.
After the outburst, the public prosecutor’s office in Thessaloniki reacted and issued an arrest warrant against the club president. This was announced by the police.
The Greek government has ordered an interruption of the domestic football championship after another scandal.
“We’ve decided to stop the league. Without an agreement from all sides, there will be no restart,”said Deputy Sports Minister Georgios Vassiliadis after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday.
Stevic sees a general problem:”PAOK is a club that, despite the problems in the Greek league and a different mentality, looks like a German club. Throughout the province of Thessaloniki, compared to Athens, and this is a problem, because the Athens lobby is doing everything it can to ensure that PAOK does not become champion. But PAOK deserves to be right at the top.”
And further:”Unfortunately, this incident has now happened. People there love football and that includes a lot of emotions, but Greece needs a clean league.”