November 15 – Greek football, forever living in a state of chaos, looks once again to have spiralled out of control with rumours that a UEFA mission is set to land in the country this week in attempt to straighten out a federation administration that is mired in controversy, multiple accusations of corruption and now physical intimidation of officials opposed to its decision making.
At a Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) executive committee last week it also emerged that the HFF is in danger of being evicted from its offices having racked up a dent of over €1 million in unpaid rent.
The lease on the offices expired in June 2019 and a penalty clause of €1,000 per day has since then been incurred. The HFF has reportedly asked the government to pick up the tab for them.
The chaotic mismanagement has also been seen in the club licensing process for Super League 2 clubs. In October the HFF Court of Arbitration for Football ruled that current HFF Administration had violated the federation’s Statute and the HFF Licensing Regulation by exempting 10 Superleague 2 clubs from the licensing procedure.
This prompted the Greek Supreme Court to step into the football arena and annul the Administration’s decisions and rule that HFF Deputy President Pan. Dimitriou, Vice President A. Antoniou and Treasurer K. Tzaferis should be removed from the federation. The case is being reviewed by the Ethics Committee.
With that controversy still fresh, and rather than embark on a renewed process of club licensing, HFF (EPO) Executive Secretary Iakovos Filippoussis, revamped the organisational structure of HFF which included abolishing the independent Club Licensing Department. The independence of the club licensing department from the daily operation of the HFF had been a key element in overcoming abuse of position and influence within the HFF.
Culture of intimidation
The length to which certain factions will go to force through their own agendas and influence decision-making has again drawn out the dark side of Greek football.
It is reported that the senior administrative judge in the Federation’s Arbitral Tribunal resigned just a few hours after he had been appointed to investigate the actions of Dimitriou, Antoniou and Tzaferis, after his car was vandalised while parked outside his house.
Resignation of senior officials due to threats and intimidation has become something a theme this year within the Greek federation.
MEP Th. Zagorakis resigned from HFF’s presidency on September 9, 2021, just 6 months after being unanimously elected, citing threats of violence against him after he publicly reported in the parlous state of the HFF.
Super League 1 elected President Leonidas Boutsikaris followed immediately after that. He resigned so as not to be associated with the club licensing scandal, also saying he had had enough of being threatened over the contents of Super League 1 match delegates reports.
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