The Euroleague Basketball Independent Disciplinary Judge has issued a precedent-setting sanction against Panathinaikos Athens after finding that a club executive made extreme verbal threats against the officials on Monday night following the team’s 86-85 home victory over CSKA Moscow in Game 3 of the 2014-15 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs.
After reviewing the accounts of the incident, the independent judge issued a fine of €150,000 to Panathinaikos on Tuesday.
On the official scoresheet of the game, the officiating crew chief reported that Mr. Dimitris Giannakopoulos entered their locker room immediately after his team won, attempted to physically assault one referee and made repeated threats against him and his family.
In explaining the amount of the fine issued, the independent judge cited the grave nature of the threats made by Mr. Giannakopoulos and the repeated nature of the infractions from the same person that have been previously sanctioned for damaging the image of the competition.
Euroleague Basketball wishes to express its condemnation of the incidents reported in the official scoresheet and assert that any and all affronts to the security of those participating in or attending games are treated with the utmost seriousness. The organization will enforce all rules and regulations in the competition bylaws to ensure that the integrity of the game is beyond question, maintaining zero tolerance towards violence in Euroleague Basketball arenas.
Given the unprecedented gravity of the incidents on Monday in Athens, Euroleague Basketball will make these known to the Greek authorities for their assessment of whether they carry legal responsibility beyond the jurisdiction of the competition bylaws.
The independent disciplinary judge also issued sanctions against Panathinaikos Athens for other recurring incidents, namely fines of €10,000 for the lighting of fireworks or flares inside the arena, €12,000 for the use of laser pointers, and €8,000 for the throwing of objects onto the playing area.