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Entire Greek soccer league shuts down after team owner charges the field with his gun

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Greek soccer owner Ivan Savvidis charged at referees with a gun after disagreeing with a call during a match. (Image source: Twitter screenshot)

After his team received an unfavorable call from a referee, the owner of a Greek soccer club stormed the field in a rage during the match — and he was armed. As a result, the entire league has been shut down.

What happened?

During a match between PAOK Salonika and AEK Athens, PAOK scored what appeared to be the go-ahead goal late in the game.

After much deliberation, the referees reversed the call, citing the goal was offside, and took the point off the board.

PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis, one of the richest men in Greece and a former member of the Russian Parliament in Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party, came on to the field and ordered his team off the field in protest with time still remaining in the tie game.

Savvidis attempted to rush at referees, at one point reportedly moving his hand toward the gun holstered on his hip before being restrained by bodyguards.

The match was canceled, and the entire league has been shut down as officials review ways to prevent future confrontations from escalating to such a dangerous level.

“It won't start again until there is a clear framework, agreed to by all, to move forward with conditions and rules,” Deputy Sports Minister Giorgos Vasiliadis told the BBC after meeting with Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Will the owner be disciplined?

A warrant has been issued for Savvidis’ arrest, but it’s unclear whether that is related to the gun or simply because he ran onto the field of play during a match.

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