The referee in a notorious 2018 Greek soccer match in which a club owner stormed the pitch with a holstered gun, on Saturday admitted he allowed a goal that changed the result out of fear for his family.
Giorgos Kominis told the betarades.gr website that he was “sickened” when persons outside the changing room threatened his pregnant wife, with police standing idly by.
Asked whether he had altered the result in the PAOK Thessaloniki-AEK Athens clash, in which the winning goal was initially ruled offside, out of fear for his family, Kominis replied: “Exactly.”
“This game has haunted my career,” Kominis said. “I lived in fear.”
“People were following my wife to the supermarket when she was eight months pregnant. I’ve never told anyone before,” he said.
In one of the most controversial games in Greek league history, PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis stormed onto the pitch to confront the referee in protest at the 90th-minute disallowed goal.
Kominis on Saturday said the linesman had told him “word for word, ‘the goal is offside. (But) who can disallow it in here?”, referring to the PAOK home crowd.
A Greek-Russian tobacco industrialist and former Russian lawmaker with the party of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Savvidis was initially handed a 25-month suspended prison sentence over the incident.
An appeals court in May reduced his sentence to a suspended eight months.
Kominis was dismissed from the referee list two years after the incident.