ATHENS, Greece (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.