Ah Greece…

What would we do without all the excitement that comes out of the country on an almost daily basis. I have to admit, it can be entertaining at times but more often than not, it leads to disappointment and anger from those of us who just want to see our club succeed.

Why do I say all this now? Well for those who haven’t heard the news today, it turns out the Cup may not go on after all. That’s right. It was scheduled to go on, and then got canceled… and then was scheduled to go on again, and now might be canceled again. So what is causing the hold up this time you might ask? Well its all very convoluted, as these things often are, but from what I understand the issue stems from the fact that EPO is insisting that the game be played with assistant referees that it has chosen for the game (and questionable ones at that). Why this is an issue is because that AEK, and minister Kontonis had said that the game would be played with Sidiropoulos’ usual assistant referees for when he officiates foreign games. Again, I have to stress that I could be getting some facts mixed up, but this is what I’ve understood until now.

To be honest, I support AEK and Kontonis on this issue. AEK has also put out an announcement saying they wont show up for the game unless the originally agreed upon assistants are used, a statement which I also support. The way I see it is this is just another way EPO has abused its power to force questionable decisions like this on other teams, and I personally wouldn’t mind seeing AEK show some resistance. We already PAOK protest earlier in the season, now with AEK taking a stand, maybe we’ll see some other teams not be so afraid to come forward and question these choices by EPO. Of course, I don’t want to see us get to the point where we refuse to play every time we don’t like something, but the league has come to the point where teams need to stand up. If they don’t, and if the status quo remains the same, we’ll just see more and more of what we’ve seen for the past fifteen plus years: one team winning the league, one team getting all the bonus money from winning the league and playing in Europe, one team benefiting while every other team never stands a chance.

Its worth pointing out that Olympiakos was quiet throughout all of this, until they came out with some statements of their own attacking AEK and Kontonis. I have to wonder why they have so much interest in seeing EPO’s choice for assistant refs being used…

Anyways, I won’t go into too many details because up until now, its been one attack from each team after another. Whether the game will be played, canceled, or postponed I couldn’t say.  We’re less than 48 hours away at this point, I’d imagine that an agreement has to be reached very soon.

 

Unfortunately for us AEK supporters, the bad news doesn’t end there. Remember how we made it past PAOK and through to the next round of the Basketball playoffs? Remember how I thought we had a chance of giving Olympiakos a run for their money? Well if you saw the score from yesterday’s game, you would have noticed that I was terribly mistaken. What happened I couldn’t say since I didn’t get the chance to watch the game, but from what I was reading as I was following the commentary was that we quite simply didn’t show up to play. There’s no other way to explain losing by a score of 93-58.

Of course Olympiakos is a strong team and I knew even one win against them was wishful thinking. But when we can barely score simple three pointers and hardly even create chances for two pointers, something is very wrong. Was it just a bad day? I’m hoping so, because otherwise it will just confirm what many of us have been thinking about the team for a while now: we might be okay for anywhere between 6th and 3rd place, but any higher than that and we are very far off. To be honest, at times I thought we were getting there. I really thought we were capable of challenging the top two. But they’re simply too strong, and we are still lacking in too many positions. What makes all this even worse is the fact that the Panathinaikos and Olympiakos teams of this season are shadows of what the teams have been in the past, and probably will be in the future. Yep, we have a while to go.

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