In a ceremony to mark the opening of the 2011-12 professional basketball season in Greece, Olympiacos GM Christos Stavropoulos rather bit the hand that feeds him a bit in making some rather harsh allegations – okay, implications – about official favoritism given his club’s chief rivals Panathinaikos.
“These days, our country is passing through difficult times, but basketball could be an exception. We can all offer a nice show and decent product to our fans,” stated Stavropoulos, adding the proviso that such can only be accomplished “if the rules are applied to all.”
Without actually naming the target of his allegations, Stavropoulos publicly mused, “I wonder how an entire year passes [for a team] without a league drug test. I wonder how they spent an entire season without the decisions of sports bodies announced. And I hope this year is different.”
Wow, if only he’d gotten a tad more agitated, Greece might’ve had a good old-fashioned American-style sports figure meltdown.
The league’s official website naturally glommed over the comments and it appears no official word on Stavropoulos’ vitriol will be forthcoming from Panathinaikos, leaving observers to draw their own conclusions. Here’s what’s sure to become a common one from BallinEurope reader Nikos: “I guess it would explain why [Dimitris] Diamantidis suddenly started refusing to play for the Greek national team anymore. He has to face no doping control with Panathinaikos, but with the Greek national team he would…”
Olympiacos will host Panathinaikos meet for their annual derby game in week five of the season at Olympiacos. Per league penalty, the game will be played in front of empty stands.