Greece’s football association has suspended play for the coming weekend after a fire destroyed the home of its top referee. Arson is suspected, but the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
The Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) announced on Wednesday that it had canceled all of the upcoming weekend’s professional league and cup matches following what it described as a “suspicious” fire at the home of the president of the Central Referee Committee (KED), Giorgios Bikas, in northern Greece.
“Following an extraordinary meeting, the EPO announces its decision for the suspension of all national football championships until the conclusion of the investigation into the causes of the fire by the fire services…” a statement released by the federation’s temporary administrative board read.
“The EPO expresses its full compassion to Mr Giorgios Bikas whom we will support in every way possible.”
Neither Mr. Bikas nor any members of his family were in the house when the fire broke out.
The statement also said the EPO had informed the world governing body FIFA and its European counterpart, UEFA, of the decision.
The incident comes a week after another KED committee member was threatened by two men who turned up on his doorstep, which led to the resignation of all three committee members.
The crisis-stricken EPO’s daily affairs are currently being run by a FIFA-appointed “normalization committee” tasked with stamping out longstanding corruption in Greek football and bringing its regulations into line with international standards.
pfd/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)