“You are vassals, the government is complicit”

The famous national team of France Kylian Mbappe hosts tonight our representative group in one of those games that participation is a dream for every football player and which quite logically arouse the interest of the public even without a score background.

So while one would expect Greek football to be in its best shape – especially considering the March window and the playoffs that will possibly allow us to return to the final stage of the Euros – the photo of the moment is for many time heartbreaking. A jumble of incomprehensible situations with the signature of the Federation and the backs of a government that systematically ignores, creates the necessary conditions.

It was exemplarily captured by Vangelis Marinakis, with the letter he sent yesterday to the Executive Committee of the EPO. A thousand words placed in the right order, to describe just one: “Rot”. The one that Greek football got used to not only accepting it, but also understanding it as “normality”. How did Aristotle once put it? “The addicted osper pephykos is already becoming.” “What has become a habit is treated as something normal.” He got used to disparagement and contempt. To people who, pretending to serve it, sank it to historic lows. In irregularities and violations. And the worst part? He got used to expecting nothing and from no one, resigned to his fate. As if the football federation of our country does not have the obligation to give an account to anyone, operating as an independent state.

On a piece of paper

They were wrapped in an adhesive paper by the president of the Super League. For the ridiculous things happening with Gustavo Poget’s assistant, Mauricio Tariko, who did not show up at the “invitation” being unpaid for eight months. For the stadium-field of Nea Smyrni which hosted the training sessions of our national team, but also for the “closed” stadium without permission of Rizoupoli which became our headquarters for the friendly against New Zealand. For the smell of scandal with the construction of the new training center, but also the non-transparent manner in which the EPO took care yesterday to open its door for the hiring of Vassilis Dimitriadis as team manager of the Elpidon national team. For the missing new chief referee Peter Freudfeld who has not been seen a month after his own recruitment. For the strange “silence” surrounding the complaints of the former referee Giorgos Kominis that they threatened his pregnant wife (i.e. after the famous PAOK – AEK match which ended with the invasion of the gunman Ivan Savvidis on the Toumba pitch), but also the attack a few days ago on the business maintained by referee Andreas Gamaris (an incendiary device was placed). For all this regime that has made words like “irregularity” and “illegality” permanent next to every reference to the football federation of our country. The same one that the report records for her sake that in the summer “it is PAOK’s turn to elect its president, after the president elected by AEK”?

Moral authorship

Vangelis Marinakis wrote something, which largely explains most of this situation. Because looking at the big picture, he easily understands that the problem is not Takis Baltakos or the rest of the “expendables”. Those willing to serve a Federation order that we in turn have come to understand as normal. The moral authorship for all of the above belongs to the government of the country itself. In her conscious decision to not care by establishing this… habit. “The country’s government does not wish for the cleansing of Greek football because this serves it, as it serves its friends. That’s why he chose as the competent minister (s.s. Yiannis Vroutsis) for Sports someone invisible who neither had, nor has, nor is going to acquire a relationship with sports and is not going to offer anything to it” he said characteristically. Is there someone, somewhere, somehow who can debunk this claim? Is there an act that states the opposite all these years? There are dozens of examples. Always the same, however, the denominator…

The chapter National team

But let’s start from the beginning. And above all, those concerning the coat of arms. “For months now we have been watching the antics unfolding around the National team. First the fiasco with the players’ cards for which no one has been held accountable, as a result of which our national team is led into a match against the national team of France without its key players. Then, we had the country’s international exposure from holding national team matches in stadiums – fields that also caused the disapproval of the opponents’ footballers. And instead of asking for an apology in the face of this outcry, you had various weirdos ask them for change. You set a team friendly in an uncrowded, unlicensed stadium and had footballers (who laugh at you) playing in major European leagues train in the mud. You love the national team so much. We are in danger of drifting globally with the scandal of the training center, where you choose again what your boss tells you (Markopoulos) while there are better solutions (Hellenic). Recently, we are also following the dispute with the case of Mr. Poget’s assistant, whom you have been unable to pay (!) for almost a year. How was this man hired and under what status so you can’t pay him? Is an announcement that the particular gentleman “refuses” to issue a VAT number enough to close the matter?” the Super League president points out about the coat of arms. And the gusts continue…

The Dimitriadis case

Because what was the EPO Executive Committee discussing yesterday, having apparently solved all the rest? Whether president Takis Baltakos and CEO Iakovos Filippousis will be given the “budget” for hiring Vassilis Dimitriadis as team manager in the Elpidon national team. Why the former factor of AEK? And above all, why, while he has in fact been hired without any other candidate, did the EU not even mention his name? “Are you ashamed to write the name of Mr. Dimitriadis? By what criteria was he selected and with what qualifications? Were other candidates sought or considered? Probably the criterion is that he has become unemployed and you have to accommodate him somewhere as your real boss, the owner of AEK, asked you. Another one who needs to get comfortable, as was done before with various minions, sweethearts, slackers, incompetents and others who we pay with outrageous salaries as professional football with the money we pay to the EPO” notes the Super League strongman in his letter.

Kominis and Gamaris

And as for those that happen in the arbitration and could well concern the police report and form files in the Justice? “A few days ago, the business of the acting referee, Mr. A. Gamaris, was burned down with an incendiary device. Also, a few days ago, the former referee Mr. G. Kominis in an interview publicly stated that after a certain match he refereed not so many years ago, he received threats against his pregnant wife and in fact while he was still an active referee. That is, a threatened referee was still officiating and officiating league matches. In the face of these phenomena, instead of taking charge of the new chief referee (?), Mr. Freudfeld is still taking walks in the caravan. And the EPO is satisfied with press releases and its president indifferently whistles as he always does. There is nothing you can do without leading football to humiliation. But you, they are: so small and so submissive. And that’s how you will remain” states Vangelis Marinakis in his letter. Just before it comes down to what most Greek sports fans are thinking. That in no favored state, all of the above would not have become… a habit.

They do not desire purification

“Responsibility and complicity for what is happening dramatically in Greek football now equally weighs on the non-existent and disappeared government which unfortunately is not insensitive: it is obvious that this situation and the tolerance it shows is its own wish. The country’s government does not want a purge in Greek football because this serves it, as it serves its friends. That’s why he chose as the responsible minister for Sports someone invisible who neither had, nor has nor is going to acquire a relationship with sports and is not going to offer anything to it.”

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