Football Match Halted as Club Owner Takes Gun on to the Pitch

Police are investigating a football club owner who allegedly marched on to the pitch armed with a weapon.

The Greek Super League match between PAOK and AEK Athens was halted when Ivan Savvidis, one of Greece’s richest men, walked on to the field while wearing a holster that appeared to contain a gun.

Flanked by bodyguards, the owner of PAOK interrupted the match in protest after a goal from his team was disallowed and declared offside in the 90th minute.

Although he did not remove anything from the holster, the 58-year-old had to be restrained while confronting referee Giorgios Kominis.

Paok president Ivan Savvidis, centre, is escorted off the pitch

Savvidis, who holds a gun licence, is now being investigated for illegal entry on to the football field and for possession of an object that could cause harm in a sporting venue.

The match was abandoned two hours later when AEK players refused to return to the field.

Greece’s sports minister Giorgos Vasileiadis says league play has been suspended indefinitely until there is “a new, clear framework agreed to by all so we can move forward with conditions and regulations”.

Paok president Ivan Savvidis, centre, took to the pitch after the referee refused a last minute goal

Greek soccer games are frequently marred by violence – and a derby between PAOK and Olympiakos Piraeus was called off last month after the Olympiakos coach was hit by a roll of paper thrown from the stands.