Greece’s Government Condemns Basketball Team’s Walkout

(Photo by Eurokinissi)

ATHENS (AP) — Greece’s government has condemned a walkout by the basketball club Olympiakos during a Greek Cup semifinal game against rival Panathinaikos following complaints over the refereeing.

Olympiakos forfeited the game at Olympic Stadium in Athens on Wednesday, leaving at halftime and trailing 40-25. A spokesman for the team said he was “disgusted” with the quality of the refereeing.

The action handed Panathinaikos and American coach Rick Pitino a place in Sunday’s cup final against PAOK in Crete.

Giorgos Vassiliadis, the deputy minister for sport, described the game as a “blow to the sport” but said he could not interfere with the referee selection process.

Pitino tweeted after the incident, “Well, in 42 years of coaching, I thought I had seen it all.”

FILE – In this Jan. 4, 2019, file photo, Panathinaikos coach Rick Pitino reacts during a Euroleague basketball match between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos in Piraeus near Athens, Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)