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Old 05-05-2011, 10:28   #2
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Greek FA facing funding cuts

AEK Athens ended a nine-year trophy drought by lifting the trophy on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Atromitos but, after the game, riots ensued and some AEK fans invaded the pitch, fought with Atromitos players and abused their fans. Atromitos coach Giorgos Donis even claimed that flare guns were aimed at supporters in the VIP stands.

Greek police saw 22 officers injured - five seriously - as hooligans tossed flares, fireworks, seats and plastic bottles on to the pitch following the final whistle and arrested 13 people on charges including possession of explosives, arson and disturbing the peace.

"We have asked EPO to change the disciplinary law. If this is not done, the state will suspend all funding to Greek football," deputy culture minister George Nikitiadis told reporters. "Penalties must be put in place to stop the throwing of firecrackers and for any fan to entering the field of play. These penalties must include the deduction of points and in cases of repeat offending, relegation."

A new sports bill will be released by the government in June, enabling authorities to hand out stricter penalties to address the problem of stadium violence, with secretary for sport Panagiotis Bitsaxis adding his voice to the issue.

"The events of the Greek Cup final once again underline the position of the state that if professional football wishes to maintain its self-governed model, then it must ensure that regulations are followed and that the necessary measures for the smooth organisation of football matches are introduced," he said in a statement.

Police are also investigating the suspected arson of an AEK Athens fan club which was targeted, extensively damaging the building, as well as two cars parked outside. Although a police statement said nobody was injured and no arrests were reported.

Greek football has been plagued by violence already this season, with Olympiakos Piraeus, Panathinaikos and PAOK Salonika all being handed out supporter bans after pitch invasions.
Villas-Boas: I could be 'The S**t One'

Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas has distanced himself from claims he is the new Jose Mourinho and warned that he could soon be regarded as 'The S**t One'.

Villas-Boas, 33, has led Porto to the brink of the UEFA Cup final after a 5-1 semi-final first-leg victory over Villarreal last week. Given that Mourinho rose to prominence with Porto's UEFA Cup success in 2003, and that Villas-Boas acted as his assistant at three different clubs, comparisons have been inevitable.

Villas-Boas, though, believes it is important that he is seen as a coach in his own right.

"I'm no rival to someone who will be the best manager of all time," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"I have to distance myself, because I believe I have my own personality and the way I work is completely different, but people associate me with one of the best managers in the world so I just have to live with that.

"People think I am the next one but I am not the next one. I am a normal coach who benefits from having top players and one day I will not benefit from having this type of talent. I am not the Special One. Maybe, then, I will be The S**t One."

Villas-Boas left Mourinho's coaching staff at the start of the 2009-10 season to take charge of Academica.

"I do not speak with Jose," he said. "After I left we spoke a lot when I was at Academica but it's a little different now.

"It was important for me to make the break. I felt I could give much more. That was something I felt inside. I fully understand the position I had then because it's the way things are.

"Everyone has their position and I was fortunate to be involved and be successful and I was always very, very professional, but I had so much more to give and I felt the urge to start managing.

"If I could have been more to Jose then that would have been good but I completely understand that he did not feel the need to get more from me, so I made my choice."

Villas-Boas has been linked with a number of top clubs around Europe.

"Anybody around the world who is successful generates interest. I take it very well. I only don't take it well when we go into lies and this is something that happens in Italy, for example, where I supposedly told a Roma director that I would not go to Roma because I was going to Liverpool and that Jose had told me to go to the Premier League rather than Serie A.

"That is just something that some guy made up and sold as a true story. Speculation is okay, but lies are not."

Having already worked at Chelsea, Villas-Boas has done little to dampen speculation he could return to Stamford Bridge despite having been sacked, along with Mourinho, in 2007.

Asked if Roman Abramovich had made a mistake, he said: "No, no, no. I don't think they made a mistake.

"Jose won the FA Cup the season before, with the Carling Cup and went to the semi-finals of the Champions League and lost on penalties to Liverpool. And that was a season when we had injuries everywhere.

"We played Paulo [Ferreira] as a central defender with [Michael] Essien. We were at the maximum of our abilities with the players we had.

"The season was still successful but the owner had other expectations and maybe he was proved right because they reached the final and had John Terry not slipped with the penalty then they would have won the cup. Again it was a question of luck." He added: "London is a city where I could live perfectly. We had some good times over there and the people in the club are fantastic - from the players, staff and the owner."
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