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Malakates: “I take responsibility, an apology is not enough”!


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Amateur Panathinaikos issued an announcement about the incidents at the Agios Thomas stadium that led to yesterday’s (15/2) postponement of the “eternal” European derby.

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The president of the club, Takis Malakates, who signs the text, emphasized that he takes responsibility for what happened and apologized to the people of Panathinaikos, while he directly accused the police of an unprovoked and unreasonable attack. In addition, he also referred to his choice to hold the match in Agios Thomas and not in OAKA.

The announcement in detail:

“Yesterday was a very important day and unfortunately instead of developing into a celebration of sports we faced an unprovoked and without any logic, attack by the police who once again unfortunately failed in the role assigned to them, to protect the people and the conduct of match.

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Especially when it comes to a semi-final match of a European competition.

I take full responsibility for what happened and once again apologize to our fans who were needlessly injured and for the inconvenience everyone else suffered.

We have asked for responsibilities and we will continue to ask until they are given.

While our original intention was to go to OAKA so that a large number of our fans could watch it and with a corresponding financial benefit, with a deadline to declare the venue on the Monday before the first match, we made the decision to hold the match at the stadium we know and we train, for purely competitive reasons.

Maybe it was my fault and I take responsibility.

This time we prevented a repeat of what happened at a previous match where people with season tickets and tickets ended up being left out by not issuing tickets but only allowing season ticket holders and our sponsors to enter.

Unwittingly, however, sad events took place yesterday and it is my responsibility that we did not manage to prevent them because someone always has to be responsible and I, as President of Panathinaikos, take full responsibility.

As for the fact that today’s game was played behind closed doors, it was the decision of the European confederation, characterizing the semi-final series as high risk and having ordered that the slightest thing would happen in either of the two games, to evacuate the stadium in order for the game to continue. If for any reason it is not possible to repeat the next day behind closed doors.

We all know how the European authorities work in such situations and simply with the expiry of the deadline for holding the match yesterday, after telephone communication with the European federation, the commissioner informed us that the match will be held today behind closed doors and we simply decided from the side us at the time of the match based on the stadium’s schedule.

Our refusal would cause us to be nullified and possibly expelled from European competitions for two years.

People, teams and administration must be united in order for the Association to grow, as has happened so far and in recent years has given us 7 titles in the most famous team sports and countless awards.

It is my obligation and my duty to raise our heads, to continue the path of success all together united and in addition to find the ways, the actions and what is required so that such situations that sadden me do not happen again and to protect the interests of Panathinaikos and in this level.

An apology is never enough but I owe it and I mean it to everyone. However, life and sports activities continue and we will try as we have done until today to claim and win titles.

Takis Malakates”.

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