The dismal events that took place in Thessaloniki’s Toumba Stadium on Sunday, with a gun-toting Ivan Savvidis invading the field of play, shocked not only our country, but the entire world.
A development that is proof positive that the president of PAOK F.C. has broken every boundary is the decision of the Executive Board of the European Club Association (ECA) to suspend PAOK F.C., known as the Double-Headed Eagle of the North, as a member of the European Club Association.
That means that PAOK F.C. is no longer a member of the ECA, which constitutes a tremendous blow for the Thessaloniki team.
The full statement of the European Club Association is as follows:
“ECA strongly condemns the behaviour of PAOK FC President, Ivan Savvidis, who invaded the field of play armed with a gun during the Greek Superleague match between PAOK FC and AEK Athens on Sunday 11th March.
In light of this, and in accordance with the ECA Statutes, the ECA Executive Board unanimously decided to suspend, with immediate effect, PAOK FC as member of the European Club Association.
ECA exists to protect the integrity and regularity of competitions and matches as well as the sporting values and principles on which European football is based.
The suspension remains valid until further notice and shall be reported to the ECA General Assembly in Rome on 27th March 2018.”
The ECA is the elite of European football
It is common knowledge that the ECA represents the finest in European football.
It is the most powerful stakeholder in European football, as is amply evidenced by the members that comprise its Executive Board.
The Executive Board members include Andrea Agnelli (Juventus), Ed Woodward (Manchester United), Pedro Lopez Jimenez (Real Madrid), Ivan Gazidis (Arsenal), Nasser el-Khelaifi (Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Josep Maria Bartomeu (F.C. Barcelona), Dr. Michael Gerlinger (F.C. Bayern Munchen), and others.
It is clear from the stature of such figures that the European elite of football cannot possibly consider including in its ranks teams whose gun-carrying owners invade the playing field.