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Inside FutbolInside Futbol

24/04/2015 - 10:38 BST

Ex-FIFA Referee and Current MP Petros Konstantineas Speaks Out On Country’s Football Regulations

 




The Greek Football Federation currently has the threat of suspension from UEFA and FIFA hanging over it due to the country's government wanting to pass a law aimed at stopping violence at games.

UEFA and FIFA rules prohibit any national football association being subject to interference from any third party and breaching the rules could see Greek teams excluded from European competition.




Under the proposed regulations, the Greek government could impose fines, up to a maximum of €25m for violent incidents, while they would also be able to postpone and cancel sporting events, and ban teams from taking part in European competition.

The regulations are set to be subject to further debate, while UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino is due to head to Greece for talks aimed at resolving the situation.

 


One man leading the charge to clean up the Greek game is former referee Petros Konstantineas, who now sits as an MP for the ruling SYRIZA Party.

The former referee told Inside Futbol's John Georgopoulos of his plans, explaining: "It is time to build the kind of football we want to enjoy in Greece. We need to dispel the rotten ‘status quo’ of corruption, violence, authoritarianism and lawlessness.

"The campaign promise of SYRIZA is based on the implementation of rules of transparency and the control of all financial transactions. Supporting the efforts of the current government, I want to tell you about my personal experience as a former FIFA referee. I hope to make a difference and change things for the better.

"The profit generated within the product of ‘football’ should return to the same sport. Entrepreneurs who are engaged in professional football are only interested in one thing – the €25 million which comes through participation in the Champions League tournament. They are only interested in earning money and are indifferent towards the development of healthy competition and fair play. As a result of this ceaseless business ‘war’, every football club is used as a tool to pressurise, which goes in line with the creation of an ‘army’ of fans. These ‘tools’ put pressure on democratically elected authorities in order to serve their business interests.

"Furthermore, the supposed ‘guardian’ of the Greek game, the Hellenic Football Federation, do not create an appropriate and ideal environment for football in our country. An oligarchy formed by a small number of club presidents is in charge of the federation’s administration and maintaining the status quo of this administration model is their only aim. Every aspect of football operations is controlled by them, according to their own words.

"Today, each pillar of the Greek professional game is collapsing under the weight of rot and decay. We see violent incidents in our stadiums on a daily basis – and in the council chamber, too."

 


And Konstantineas, who urged the whole of the Greek football world to unite to solve the issues troubling the domestic game, has produced an eleven point plan, which he believes would clean up football in the country.

He said: "The Greek football world must come together and I have joined this effort with all my strength. I’m fighting for reliable and competitive football that each and every one of us will be able to enjoy. My suggestions are as follows:

1: The exclusion of every Greek football club from European tournaments.

2: The adoption of a democratic selection process by the Hellenic Football Federation. Amateur football players must participate in the election of the administration, which is carried out via a proportional election system.

3: Direct checks of the Hellenic Football Federation and local football club associations by government authorities with regard to the transparency of previous cash transactions.

4: The replacement of football professionals who have been involved in litigation on issues of corruption.

5: Setting strict criteria for certification of football clubs by public authorities.

6: Financial dependency of amateur football clubs on the number of actual members.

7: Guarantee of the independent functioning of the association of Greek referees by the authorities.

8: Severe punishment of football clubs for violent fans. Each club must ensure the peaceful conduct of the game.

9: Certification of security companies by the Ministry of Citizen Protection, which will ensure safety on and off the pitch.

10: Direct evaluation of the Committee Handling of Violence’s reports by the Ministry of Citizen Protection.

11: The possibility for football players to be involved in the Hellenic Football Federation’s council, the board of the referees and, finally, the professional football clubs by taking part in the decision making as members."


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