By Antonis Stroggylakis/ email@example.com
Olympiacos Piraeus is planning to register a secondary, “B’ team” to play in the 2019-2020 Greek second division league, following the club’s definite relegation from the first division. The team will use a different name and not “Olympiacos” and its games will be played in the practice court of the “Peace and Friendship” arena.
The senior team of Olympiacos will play exclusively in EuroLeague, something unprecedented in the history of the top-tier continental competition.
“EuroLeague has all the elements that characterize a serious, modern and reliable league,” the announcement of Olympiacos mentions.
Olympiacos has decided to register a squad to participate in the second division due to “purely legal reasons”, per the club. This move also secures participation in the Greek Cup. If Olympiacos is ‘obligated,” as the club says, to play in the second division, the organization will create a development team that will be compiled by youngsters that are a part of the “Reds'” youth squads and other players from Greece.
The announcement of Olympiacos concludes by saying that, “whoever thinks or has the illusion that they can ‘toy’ with the glorious name, history, and fans of Olympiacos, will find us against them on all levels.”
The Greek League relegated Olympiacos to the second division following the decision of the club to forfeit Game 1 of the quarterfinals against archrival Panathinaikos. It was the second league match vs. Panathinaikos forfeited by Olympiacos following the regular season’s second-leg game.
Olympiacos filed an appeal to the Supreme Council of Sports Disputes but it was rejected. In the meantime, Olympiacos made a new appeal against the Greek league for breaking the Greek Sports Law and yesterday the Greek League after a new general assembly announced that Lavrio, Kolossos Rhodes, and Olympiacos are relegated.
The general assembly practically reverted a previous vote according to which Lavrio shouldn’t be relegated. That vote was the legal reason for the new appeal made by Olympiacos.
Ultimately, both Lavrio and Kolossos will play in the top division after buying out the spot of Kimi and Cholargos respectively, or as the president of the league Vaggelis Galatsopoulos put it “making a business-like merger”.
The 14th spot of the league will be filled by a wildcard and according to the general assembly, Olympiacos can’t be a candidate for the position.
The whole saga that led to Olympiacos’ relegation, began during February’s Greek Cup semifinal between the “Reds” and archrival Panathinaikos. At halftime, Olympiacos forfeited the game in protest of the refereeing and latter announced its decision to not play any games against Panathinaikos unless officiated by foreign referees.