Matches in Greece'sprofessional soccer leagues have been suspended indefinitely after a referees' committee official was admitted to hospital following a violent attack, announced the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO). Police said that 45-year-old Christoforos Zografos, assistant director of the Central Refereeing Committee (KED), was beaten with wooden clubs in the early hours of Friday by two men on a motorcycle in the Kolonos area of Western Athens. "After an emergency meeting of the Board of Directors, EPO has decided not to appoint referees as of 17 November 2014 following the murderous attack on a member of the KED/EPO, hence the indefinite postponement of all matches in all divisions in order to protect those involved,” EPO said in a statement. EPO added it would not appoint referees to any league matches until "immediate steps" were taken to protect match officials.
Christoforos Zografos (photo), a former FIFA referee, worked under retired Scottish referee Hugh Dallas, who was appointed head of the KED in the close season after continued pleas from Greek clubs for a foreign official to take on the administrative role following several match-fixing scandals in recent seasons. Olympiakos Piraeus president Evangelos Marinakis said he had vital information about the attack on Zografos which he would give to the police and Greek soccer chiefs and he called on all stakeholders in Greek football to put a stop to violence. “The police and legal authorities need to look into this in great depth, we must all work together to stop this filth,” he told reporters after a meeting of Super League officials. “I went to the meeting to discuss names and say what I've learned from my colleagues and collaborators about this murderous act,” former Super League president Marinakis added. “We are talking about human lives here, it’s no longer about an insult, or bitter comments which are said on the radio or television in the heat of the moment; we are talking about a murderous attack on the man that is very lucky to be alive.” Marinakis also said he was available to help police with their enquiries into the incident and made references to evidence of threatening behaviour towards referees which he said was rife in the lower divisions. “All of this is highly unacceptable and it will not be long before we find it in front of us in a few months in the Super League - that's why we have an obligation to denounce it and end it here”.
The head of referees in Greece's Central Refereeing Committee (KED) has stepped down, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said after matches were suspended indefinitely following an attack on a KED official. Hugh Dallas, a retired Scottish referee, was appointed head of the KED in the close season and was in charge of appointing referees for matches in Greece's top two divisions. He will stay on as head of training for those officials. "The KED have accepted the request of Mr. Hugh Dallas to no longer be responsible for the appointments of refereeing officials for Super League and Football League matches," said the EPO in a brief media statement. "Mr. Dallas will continue to be responsible for the education and training of referees in both professional categories. Both the KED and the EPO will hold an assembly to decide on to whom the responsibilities (of appointing referees) will be allocated".