Olympiakos Piraeus were crowned
Greek champions on Wednesday after Panathinaikos failed in an
appeal to the football federation to overturn a punishment for
crowd violence at last month's abandoned Athens derby.
Panathinaikos have been docked three points and Olympiakos
awarded a 3-0 win following the events at the March 18 match,
meaning 10 points now separate the two clubs with three matches
remaining, the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) said.
"The HFF has accepted the punishment handed down by the
Super League," it declared in a statement.
Panathinaikos will also start the 2012/13 season with two
points deducted as part of the toughest sanctions ever imposed
by the Greek Super League.
The strict penalties followed a new sports law passed by the
government in February to clamp down on football violence.
Olympiakos led the standings by four points from
Panathinaikos before Wednesday's hearing rubber-stamped the
punishment handed out to Panathinaikos on March 23rd and
confirmed the Piraeus side had won their 39th league title.
Panathinaikos did manage to get part of their penalty
reduced on appeal with the Athens club ordered to play three
matches behind closed doors instead of four, while their fine
was slightly reduced to 212,000 euros from 252,500.
The violence during the heated atmosphere at the Athens
derby at the Olympic Stadium, the ground which hosted the 2004
Olympics, was some of the worst seen in recent seasons.
The start of the second half was delayed by 45 minutes as
fans pelted police with Molotov cocktails, flares and missiles,
and the game was subsequently abandoned altogether with nine
minutes remaining with Olympiakos 1-0 ahead.
Twenty police officers were injured and more than 50 arrests
were made while three fire engines were called in to extinguish
flames as hundreds of fans set alight sections of the stands.
Three of those arrested were charged with possession of
explosives, police said.
The club had already been in trouble with the Super League's
disciplinary committee this season for crowd violence and were
forced to play one match behind closed doors earlier this month.
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