Gun-wielding PAOK owner confronts referee in chaotic scenes in Greek Super League


Greek-Russian businessman Ivan Savvidis confronted the referee wielding a gun

The owner of Greek club PAOK appeared to be carrying a gun as he confronted a referee during a Greek Super League game on Sunday.

Greek-Russian businessman Ivan Savvidis is one of the wealthiest men in Russia and closely linked to president Vladimir Putin.

He was angry after his side had a 90th minute goal against rival club AEK Athens disallowed for offside.

Fernando Varela’s appeared to hand PAOK a brilliant victory against the Greek league leaders with his late header, only for it to be ruled out by the officials.

Savvidis reacted by leaving the stands and coming on to the pitch to confront the referee, flanked by bodyguards.

He did this twice, but on his second foray onto the field he was not wearing his overcoat which exposed a gun that was holstered on the back of his trousers.

The confrontation led to the game being suspended by officials and the stadium emptied of fans.

There was widespread confusion over the result of the game, before AEK manager, former Sevilla boss Manolo Jimenez, confirmed the goal was eventually given and PAOK awarded a 1-0 victory.

Explaining the incident, the Spanish coach said: “The referee has invalidated the goal of PAOK for offside, there was a brawl of players and many people entered the field, including their president with bodyguards.

“After the invasion, the referee has gone inside and after two hours wanted to resume. We said no. The shame is that in the end the referee has given them the goal, after all that has happened.

“We learned later that the president had a gun, we did not see it there on the pitch.”

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