Greece’s Super League will finally kick off this weekend after the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) and the Super League ended their feud over referees on Monday.
Greece risked being suspended from international football by global soccer body FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA after the government intervened in a long-running dispute over the selection of referees by ordering the postponement of the new season on the grounds of public safety.
But after numerous discussions, former FIFA referee Kyros Vassaras was appointed as chief arbitrator on the refereeing committee until the EPO elections on October 1, meaning matches will now get underway.
“The championship will start; the fans are rightly anxious because football should be played,” said the EPO president Giorgos Gkirtzikos in a statement.
“We have found a solution to the problems by bringing in Mr Vassaras. He is a member of UEFA and one of our own,” he added.
“I hope for a great season ahead for the Super League and that Greek football can continue to improve its status.”
It is not the first time Greece has risked running into trouble with FIFA.
FIFA’s statutes do not accept government interference of any kind in its member football federations and it had threatened to suspend Greece in April when the government ordered the Greek Cup final to be cancelled.