Reds win title as Pana appeal fails
ATHENS - Reuters
Greek police clash with Pana fans during last month’s Greek Super League game.Olympiacos Piraeus was crowned Greek champions on April 4 after Panathinaikos failed in an appeal to the soccer federation to overturn a punishment for crowd violence at last month’s abandoned Athens derby.
Panathinaikos has been docked three points and Olympiakos was awarded a 3-0 win following the events at the March 18 match, meaning 10 points now separate the two clubs with three matches remaining, the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) said.
“The HFF has accepted the punishment handed down by the Super League...” it declared in a statement.
Panathinaikos will also start the 2012/13 season with two points deducted as part of the toughest sanctions ever imposed by the Greek Super League.
The strict penalties followed a new sports law passed by the government in February to clamp down on soccer violence.
Olympiakos led the standings by four points from Panathinaikos before Wednesday’s hearing rubber-stamped the punishment handed out to Panathinaikos on March 23rd and confirmed the Piraeus side had won their 39th league title.
Panathinaikos did manage to get part of their penalty reduced on appeal with the Athens club ordered to play three matches behind closed doors instead of four, while their fine was slightly reduced to 212,000 eurosfrom 252,500.
The violence during the heated atmosphere at the Athens derby at the Olympic Stadium, the ground which hosted the 2004 Olympics, was some of the worst seen in recent seasons.
The start of the second half was delayed by 45 minutes as fans pelted police with Molotov cocktails, flares and missiles, and the game was subsequently abandoned altogether.