By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The Greek central refereeing committee announced today that Panagiotis Anastopoulos will be one of the three referees in the upcoming Greek League game between Olympiacos and Promitheas Patron, putting practically an early end to the season of the Reds.
Olympiacos is expected to forfeit the game which is scheduled to be played next Wednesday and the end result will be for the Reds to be relegated. Anastopoulos was one of the referees who called the Greek Cup semifinal game against Panathinaikos and Olympiacos. The Reds left at halftime in protest and announced that “from now on the team won’t compete in any game of domestic competitions against any opponent if the game is officiated by referees Anastopoulos, Manos and Panagiotou”.
Olympiacos has also announced that “from now on the team won’t participate in any game of domestic competitions against Panathinaikos without the presence of foreign referees, exclusively”. As a result, the Reds forfeited the Greek league game against Panathinaikos.
With Olympiacos not backing down, the refereeing committee avoided appointing the three referees in Olympiacos’ games. However, in theory, the referees were always available for any game. Panathinaikos was asking for them to be appointed in Olympiacos’ games, protesting about the fact that the refereeing committee was following Olympiacos’ wishes on this matter.
The protest of Panathinaikos became more than official today with owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos being present in the meeting of the refereeing committee and saying to the media before the announcements: “For nine rounds the central refereeing committee is not upholding the rules, they accept and subdue to the blackmail of Olympiacos. What that proves? It proves that what Olympiacos fans are saying, that the state is Olympiacos, is true. But the point is that we are leaving on a state which is a brothel”. After the appointment of Anastopoulos was announced, Giannakopoulos added: “Order was restored”.
According to the committee, as the league rules are asking, Anastopoulos was included in a draw that ultimately decided the outcome of their decision. Olympiacos has already been punished with a penalty of -8 points, however, if they forfeit two league games, all their results during the season will be nullified.
Olympiacos announced that the tickets of Wednesday’s game will cost just one euro for what can be the last game of the Reds in the Greek top division in the foreseeable future.