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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 28 February 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2015 31 SPORT Sydney derby: confidence vs hope Western Sydney Wanderers will be full of hope that a revival is on the cards after their ACL win, but Sydney FC is standing in their way Riot policemen running onto the pitch during the match between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos. PHOTO: EPA/SPYROS CHORCHOUBAS. Government suspends Greece’s Super League suspended for the week after more pitch violence has government fed up GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS The government rolled back from its earlier decision to suspend all football matches indefinitely and instead called a suspension for just one week that will only affect the Super League. The decision came under the condition that authorities and clubs will adhere to promises given for containing violence. After his second meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Deputy Minister for Sport Stavros Kontonis announced that the Super League action of this coming weekend is suspended, but all other leagues and cups will carry on as scheduled. "The decision of the government regarding the combating of violence is definitive and irrevocable," he said. "It is impossible to tolerate business interests developed in the field of sports because this runs counter to sports and the fans. All that happened in the match at [the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos], where it was only thanks to a miracle that we did not have any fatalities, as well as everything that happened at the board meeting [of the Super League] have created a terrible atmosphere. "Under these circumstances it is impossible to have games played this Sunday. I have stressed to the football authorities in our meeting that the law providing for fan clubs must be enforced." The minister confirmed that they would meet with the sport's representatives and the authorities next week to see if there has been enough progress made. He didn't shy away from saying the suspension will continue if the The Western Sydney Wanderers have a strange knack for getting results when they need them most. Somehow they're Asian Champions but last on the ALeague ladder. On Wednesday they managed to secure the only Australian win in the ACL qualifying rounds, but just a couple of days before they fell 2-1 against Adelaide Untied. Super League situation remained the same. Mr. Kontonis has asked the League to enforce the use of electronic tickets, to eliminate the fan associations and turn them into clubs, to install cameras in all stadiums as well as a number of other measures. According to Greek law the government can only force a one-week suspension each time. Already this Super League season has been suspended twice for one week each time. Late this week fierce clashes were reported at Lamia in the second-division match between the local club and Anagennisi Karditsas where a number of people were injured. It follows clashes in a Super League meeting after the president of Olympiakos reportedly hurled a glass of water at his Panathinaikos counterpart, Yiannis Alafouzos, and a bouncer allegedly punched Panathinaikos vicepresident Vassilis Constantinou in the face. The league was suspended previously after a fan was killed in clashes during a third division game and from a violent attack that saw a referee official seriously injured. It's been a weird couple of months for Wanderers fans. Nothing is really certain for the club. At least today, they enter derby territory, where spectacle and fan rivalry trump form. If you had to bluff at the result, Sydney FC would be the natural victors. The team haven't lost a Last time these two met neither got the win. The match ended 1-1. PHOTO: AAP/PAUL MILLER. match since December, albeit with a couple of draws in the mix too. They managed to claw back from a 3-3 draw with Melbourne Victory to smash through the Central Coast Mariners 4-2 last week. Coach Graham Arnold says the team must remove all emotion to really have the upper hand in the derby. "Form goes out the window when it comes to a derby," he says. "It's great for the fans, it's great for the game, but for us we have to go out there and play our own game, remove all emotion and play to our strengths." Arnold says he'll be expecting to come up against a reenergised squad despite the mid-week travel. Wanderers coach Tony Popovic left five players behind to be able to field a strong team tonight. Youth player Yianni Perkatis has been promoted alongside Antony Golec, Jaushua Sotirio and Mark Bridge, while Greek Australian goalie Dean Bouzanis is first choice again after he showed himself in the ACL campaign. Sydney FC will field an almost unchanged squad as Arnold chases a top four position. Panathinaikos deducted three points The Greens were also penalised two home games and a 100,000 euro fine GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS The disciplinary committee of the Super League decided to deduct three points from title challenger Panathinaikos for the action of its fans during last Sunday's league derby with Olympiakos, practically annulling its benefit from the 2-1 result in the Greens' favour. Panathinaikos was also penalised with two home games behind closed doors and a fine of 100,000 euros. The verdict can be appealed and Panathinaikos appears ready to resort to the second Panathinaikos fans clash with riot police before the match against Olympiakos. PHOTO:AP/INTIME SPORTS. degree, as the original decision is taking it back to six points away from table-topping Olympiakos. Last week Panathinaikos fans responded to the taunting by Olympiakos manager Vitor Pereira before the derby at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium by storming the pitch and attacking the Olympiakos squad, while there was later a shower of objects hurled at Olympiakos players and president Vangelis Marinakis, with a flare hitting an Olympiakos player.
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