OFI back in Super League
OFI Crete is celebrating its return to the Greek Super League after two years in the second division
OFI Crete, the most successful club from Greece's largest island, is celebrating its return to the Greek Super League after two years in the second division.
The Cretan side, once a regular fixture in the old Greek First Division, won promotion by topping the Football League play-offs that took place in late July, two months after their scheduled start. With Panetolikos and PAS Yiannina having already won promotion to the top flight, the play-offs kicked off very late. This was due to a number of outstanding court cases and appeals that originally had OFI deprived of its participation in the play-offs. Also, the Iraklio side had been deemed unfit to play in the Super League for technical reasons.
As reported in Kathimerini, OFI took the case to a civil court and against all odds (given that soccer clubs usually get punished for resorting to civil courts), they won and entered the play-offs with an advantage after finished third in the regular season OFI, Levadiakos, Doxa Dramas and Diagoras had to collect most of their players literally from the beaches for a round-robin mini-league of six rounds of matches, with all games played in neutral venues in Athens. With Doxa and Diagoras having serious problems in fielding full squads, the playoffs were reduced to a farce in several instances.
Eventually, with the crucial game between OFI and Levadiakos drawn 1-1 on July 28, it was all completed on July 30 with the game between OFI and Doxa not taking place. This was because Doxa did not have enough players to field a full side. OFI was awarded all three points, to win the play-offs mathematically with one more round of games left to play.
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