By Antonis Stroggylakis/ email@example.com
In light of the rejection of club owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos’ appeal for a temporary suspension of the 12-man ban imposed by EuroLeague Basketball, Panathinaikos announced that a voting regarding the team’s future in EuroLeague will take place in the following days.
Panathinaikos fans will be called to decide via a “referendum”-type voting if Panathinaikos will continue playing in EuroLeague or not. Giannakopoulos has stated that if the fans choose in favor of the team’s participation in EuroLeague then he “won’t have a place in the club.”
The result of the voting will be effective immediately.
Panathinaikos’ official announcement is the following:
“Panathinaikos Superfoods BC informs its fans that the Appeal Judge has turned down the request for the suspension of the ban that had been imposed on Mr. Dimitris Giannakopoulos.
It’s obvious that there isn’t enough time to organize a voting before Thursday’s (8/2) game against Baskonia, on the question that Mr. Giannakopoulos has posed.
This is why Panathinaikos Superfoods BC will immediately begin actions so that Panathinaikos fans, after being informed of all the details, will decide for the future of the team in the competition, via a voting that will take place in the following days.The result of the voting will be effective immediately. “
According to Panathinaikos, tomorrow’s match vs. Baskonia holds a historical significance ahead of the voting since it will either be the team’s last game in EuroLeague or the last game with Dimitris Giannakopoulos at the helm of the club, a position he held since summer 2012.
Giannakopoulos was sanctioned with a one-year ban from all EuroLeague/EuroCup arenas following some controversial posts his made on his personal Instagram account. Said posts included obscene language towards Turkish fans who, as Giannakopoulos mentioned, have threatened and cursed towards his family following a game between Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce.
In his response to the announcement of his punishment, Giannakopoulos said that the Instagram posts were of a “clearly personal matter” and that the judge of EuroLeague Basketball “penalized” the “effort to defend my family.”
With six continental titles since 1996, Panathinaikos is the most celebrated club in EuroLeague over the last 20 years and one of the most successful franchises in the history of European Basketball. In 2015, they signed a closed 10-year contract with EuroLeague, together with fellow Greek club Olympiacos plus CSKA Moscow, Fenerbahce, Anadolu Efes, Olimpia Milano, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Zalgiris Kaunas and Maccabi Tel Aviv and Baskonia.