Ex-Premier League official Steve Bennett branded ‘corrupt’ by Olympiacos B

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Greek referees’ chief and former Premier League official Steve Bennett branded ‘corrupt’ by Olympiacos B in a scathing statement after they refused to come out for second half of match following controversial decisions

  • Olympiacos B have branded ex-Premier League referee Steve Bennett ‘corrupt’
  • The club has released a scathing statement against the Greek referees’ chief
  • The Greek side refused to play their second half against Kallithea this weekend
  • Olympiacos B were suitably enraged after several decisions went against them
  • There is no evidence of corruption involving Bennett despite the club’s claims 

Former Premier League referee Steve Bennett and his colleagues have been branded ‘corrupt’ in an extraordinary attack by Greek side Olympiacos B, who forced a game to be suspended at the weekend in protest at decisions made by match officials.

Olympiacos B refused to emerge for the second half of their clash with Kallithea after refereeing decisions went against them.

They took an early lead only to be pegged back when, despite two Kallithea players being in offside positions, the referee allowed an equaliser to stand.

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Former Premier League official Steve Bennett has been branded ‘corrupt’ by Olympiacos B

Kallithea had gone 2-1 in front when further controversy followed. Olympiacos B levelled after a cross was bundled into his own net by a defender. Yet the referee pointed for a free kick against Olympiacos for handball – despite replays showing it to have been committed by the Kallithea defender.

Suitably enraged, Olympiacos B voiced their frustration, refusing to re-emerge for the second half while their substitutes left the pitch in protest, forcing the game to be suspended.

The club later released a volatile statement alleging the leaders of the division, including chief referee of the Hellas Football Federation, the vastly experienced Steve Bennett, were ‘corrupt’ saying officials’ actions fill Greek football with ‘gangrene’.

Olympiacos B refused to play their second half against Kallithea due to controversial decisions

Olympiacos B refused to play their second half against Kallithea due to controversial decisions

There is no evidence of corruption involving Bennett, who had a reputable career in England and was recognised by FIFA, but the reaction did prompt investigation and an apology from the referees’ committee.

‘Every matchday of Super League 2 football is made a mockery of by punters, delinquents and their pawns and even the few teams that try to produce football are stifled,’ the Olympiacos statement read.

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‘The issue, then, is not the countless alterations in games of our team and always against us, but also in games of other teams, with the referees appointed and controlled by the corrupt Mandalos and Bennett. The supranational FIFA/UEFA Federations and us will be informed about their projects and days at the KED/EPO, with an image from the sad SL2 Championship.

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The ex-Premier League match official is now the chief referee of the Hellas Football Federation

‘The issue is that gangrene fills the body of Greek football and every Sunday unlikely guys take exams to be liked by the dirty circuit that unfortunately runs Greek football and Baltakos’ EPO.

‘Everyone is now called to take a position. First the State and the Minister Mr. Avgenakis. Will they let football suffocate in the mud they threw, or will they finally make it to the next day? Do they care more about the real teams and their fans and the serious investors, or do they care more about the delinquents and the background?

‘Let everyone decide without exception. Either it will be with football or with the swamp. Either it will be next to us to go further and the sport has hope or they will crash together.’

There is no evidence of corruption involving Bennett, who had a reputable career in England

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There is no evidence of corruption involving Bennett, who had a reputable career in England

Olympiacos previously spoke out with a similar statement after their 0-0 draw with Egaleo earlier this month.

However, this time the Central Refereeing Committee moved to issue an apology saying that the officials in question had been spoken to

‘Having reviewed footage of the match, it is clear that the referees made a clear and obvious mistake and without VAR the decision could not have been changed. The assistant referee saw a picture which he deemed to be a handball offence. The referees accept full responsibility for their actions and apologise for their error.’

The statement went on to explain that the officials involved had been ‘punished’ and ‘appropriate internal disciplinary measures’ will be taken. Further additional training and education will also be given to ensure the levels of officials’ performances meet the expected standard.

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