Football: AEK take Greek title after Paok lose appeal over 3pts docked for owner's pitch invasion

Ivan Savvides, Russian-born Greek businessman and owner of Paok Salonika, with what appears to be a gun in a holster, entering the pitch after the referee annulled a goal during their match against AEK Athens on March 11, 2018.
Ivan Savvides, Russian-born Greek businessman and owner of Paok Salonika, with what appears to be a gun in a holster, entering the pitch after the referee annulled a goal during their match against AEK Athens on March 11, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

ATHENS (AFP) - AEK Athens were declared Greek Super League champions on Monday (April 23), after Paok lost an appeal over points docked following their gun-carrying owner's pitch invasion last month.

The Greek football federation's appeals committee dismissed Paok's bid to try to get the three points restored to keep them in the title race.

Paok owner Ivan Savvidis was banned on March 29 for three years after storming onto the pitch with a holstered gun on his belt at the end of a match with AEK.

The Greek-Russian businessman was fined €100,000 (S$161,670) with a separate €63,000 fine for Paok.

The Greek league resumed at the end of last month after being on hold from March 12 in the wake of the Savvidis incident.

The incident led to the Greek government suspending league matches for two weeks and only resuming after the clubs agreed to a list of government demands, including point reductions and automatic relegation for clubs responsible for violence.

On Sunday, AEK beat Livadiakos 2-0 at home to move eight points clear of Paok with two matches remaining, giving AEK their first title in 24 years.

Paok (58 points) are now in a battle with Olympiakos, just four points behind, for second and a Champions League qualifying place.