By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Olympiacos head coach David Blatt and forward Sasha Vezenkov said that they weren’t aware of their club’s decision to not play in Sunday’s (17/3) Greek League game vs. archrival Panathinaikos.
The “Reds” had officially announced that they won’t participate in the match some hours before Blatt’s and Vezenkov’s statements on the matter.
“First time I hear of it,” Blatt said in the post-game presser of Olympiacos’ loss to Olimpia Milano after a reporter’s question on the subject. “I need to discuss it with the management because I haven’t heard it before. If that’s the decision of our management then I support it.”
“We don’t know if we will have a game on Sunday,” Vezenkov mentioned to Greek TV channel Novasports.
After forfeiting the Greek Cup semifinal against Panathinaikos at halftime, the position of Olympiacos has been that the team won’t play any domestic game against the “Greens” unless officiated by non-Greek referees. The Central Refereeing Committee choose three Greek referees to officiate Sunday’s derby between the two powerhouses and therefore Olympiacos announced that they won’t participate in the match.
“That’s not uncommon in the world of basketball in Europe,” Blatt added on his team asking for non-Greek referees vs. Panathinaikos. “As a matter of fact, there are leagues where it’s the norm, not the exception. And there’s a reason for that. Because there are some serious trust issues that have been happening in Greece for a number of years which is why the management of Olympiacos decided to take the steps that they took to begin with.”