PAOK Owner Banned, Team Docked 3 Points for Violence, AEK Wins Game

PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis invades the pitch on March 11, 2018. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Antonis Nikolopoulos)

ATHENS (AP) — The owner of Greek soccer club PAOK Thessaloniki has been banned for three years for his part in violence that occurred during a match against AEK Athens, including running onto the field with a holstered pistol on his hip.

PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis, a powerful Russian-Greek businessman, was also fined 100,000 euros ($123,000).

The club itself was docked three points for violence that interrupted recent matches against Olympiakos and AEK — incidents that triggered a two-week suspension of the league.

Thursday’s ruling gives AEK a seven-point advantage over Olympiakos and sees PAOK drop to third place with five matches remaining — unless the decision is overturned on appeal.

Olympiakos has dominated the league for two decades, but AEK is now favored to win for the first time in 24 years.