He will …overcome his opponents, or so Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) president Takis Baltakos says. Does he have anything to say about the presence of Stavros Mantalos, a member of EPO’s central officiating committee (KED) and head of development-training for amateur football, at Monday’s meeting-cum-fiasco?

A four-hour fiasco unfolded on Monday afternoon at the meeting of representatives of Super League teams participating in the playoff round with the chief referee Steve Bennett, and with EPO president Takis Baltakos serving as the “guest star”. Hopefully, by Friday we will, by all accounts, have seen the last of the latest “PR storm” that threatens to turn day…into night.

Because everyone may have finally agreed that they simply…disagree, and – as expected – no solution emerged, but the meeting also brought to the surface several very interesting bits of information. First and foremost is the disclosure of an «institutional deviation» in the process to appoint referees. Bennett confirmed his ignorance about the role of Stavros Mantalos.

«I thought he was my vice president,» Bennett said, adding that he shared every document and his every move regarding the referees who… are bring back our Sundays.

And the best part?

The Briton didn’t say these things behind the back of a KED board member for amateur football.

He said what he said in front of him, as Stavros Mantalos also sat at the table during the meeting. Bennett was there, and so was Mantalos from KED. So, will someone answer as to what business this individual had at the meeting? In what capacity was he seated at the table? Who invited him?

Moreover, who told Bennett that Mantalos is his…vice-president, with whom he can share a position, which if a Greek could do, we wouldn’t need a foreign chief referee earning a 400,000-euro salary annually?

This is a case of an obvious scandal, one that obviously requires responsible answers in a football league where most teams, with official announcements, have complained of “alterations” in the standings. This is a story that has largely vindicated all those, who seven months ago, said someone else can make these strange appointments of referees for crucial matches, such as Iraqis from Sweden and VAR refs from Albania.

What business does this gentleman have with the referees?

Who «christened» him as Bennett’s vice president? Is there anyone at EPO who can answer as to what is happening at KED?

Someone besides, of course, Takis Baltakos, who took a “stand” at the meeting, but as he later claimed, «has nothing to do with officiating».

It’s not bad that he believes this, even if his position merely generates smirks. It is bad that he thinks it has something to do with the presidency of the football association.

This is someone who, a short time ago, claimed he will «impose his cadence», and against «any opponent», obviously a reference to his… political beginnings. This will also again bring to the forefront what the political world said about him due to the shameful case involving the national team’s jersey.

As the MeRa25 political party said in a statement: «The well-known, and being of sound mind and age, theoretician of the extreme right”.

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