Greece’s government has condemned a walkout by Olympiakos basketball club during a Greek Cup semifinal game against rival Panathinaikos, following complaints about the refereeing.
Olympiakos forfeited the game at Olympic Stadium in Athens on Wednesday, leaving at halftime and trailing 40-25. A spokesman for the team said he was “disgusted” with the quality of the refereeing.
The action handed Panathinaikos and American coach Rick Pitino a place in Sunday’s cup final against PAOK in Crete.
Giorgos Vassiliadis, the deputy minister for sport, described the game as a “blow to the sport” but said he could not interfere with the referee selection process.
Olympiacos decided to not play in the second half of the Greek Cup semi-final against Panathinaikos and forfeited the game.
Consequently, Panathinaikos won the match (20-0) and advanced to the Final, where they will face PAOK on Sunday (17/02) at Heraklion, Crete.
Olympiacos players were called for three fouls in the first 28 seconds of the game and protested, despite the consequences they may face.
The General Manager of Olympiacos, Christos Stavropoulos, said, “We are disgusted. We can’t participate in this farce. We can’t take it anymore, the sports authorities should do something.”
Owner of Panathinaikos, Dimitris Giannakopoulos, responded, “It was something that had already been planned. It seems that they cannot pay their players, they have given up and now they say they don’t like the refs.
Maybe the Aggelopoulos family wants to leave Olympiacos and to blame us and the refs. It’s unacceptable. You lose, or win on the court.”
According to Agona Sport, the repercussions of Olympiacos’ decision could be felt in the Basket League as it now appears the club will be in line for a points deduction that could range anywhere from one to six points.
Olympiacos, who currently sit atop the Basket League table, could lose their one-point lead over Panathinaikos – though Olympiacos’ lead is slightly misleading as Panathinaikos currently have a game in-hand.
The most-extreme penalty, a six-point deduction, could see the Erythrolefki slip to fifth in the standings; however, Olympiacos appear to be content with a possible points deduction should Wednesday night’s events lead to a change in how Greek basketball is officiated moving forward.
The 2018/2019 Basket League tables as it stands through 16 rounds of action…
- Olympiacos 31
- Panathinaikos 30*
- Peristeri 27
- Promitheas 27
- AEK 27
- PAOK 26
- Holargos 24
- Ifaistos Limnou 24