Lefteris Avgenakis launched a new attack against the EPO, this time from the floor of the Parliament.
The Deputy Minister of Sports accused the administration of the football federation of “blackmail and anti-democratic decisions”.
“The 12.5% of the indifferent of the football base cannot blackmail the vast majority of 87.5%”, the Deputy Minister of Sports emphasized for the Register and welcomed the intention of several EPS, who are revising their attitude and pressuring the EPO to start immediately the racing activity!
“We are not being blackmailed by the anti-democratic decisions of the EPO and the EPS, the 12.5% of the indifferent football base cannot blackmail the vast majority of 87.5%,” said the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, Lefteris Avgenakis, in the Parliament, in response to question of Evangelia Liakoulis, about amateur football in the prefecture of Larissa and the Register of registration of sports associations.
Mr. Avgenakis underlined that “parents, athletes, “healthy” union agents, see who is putting a tombstone in amateur football. The vast majority of them want transparency and housing” and he pointed out that “we are glad that many PES have already taken steps to revise their attitude and are pressuring the EPO to start the competitive activity immediately”.
The Deputy Minister of Sports reiterated that “we continue and it goes without saying that we remain open to dialogue, but with respect to the 6,362 associations of all sports, which have joined the Register and support the rule of law and order in the sports structure”.
He reminded that “we filed a provision, with which we essentially facilitate an additional 301 amateur football clubs to settle, as well as 240 clubs of other sports! In fact, the provision is being discussed and voted on tomorrow in the Plenary”, making reference to the provision that will also allow those associations that have not yet been registered in the Registry, as long as they have submitted a complete application and hold a Special Sports Recognition, to use the public sports facilities and to be licensed to hold competitions by the Regions.
In addition, Mr. Avgenakis recalled the purposes of the Electronic Register of Sports Clubs (“legitimacy, order and transparency in the sports edifice and the provision of universal access to all”), its benefits, the inconsistencies of the Hellenic Football Federation and the huge responsibilities of the EPO and the EPS that suspended the amateur leagues against the will of their 2,260 football clubs in total of 2,585, concluding (especially for the Larissa region):
“In total, 78 of the 83 (94%) active football clubs of EPS Larisa came to the Registry. So the fuss is made about the 6% of the unregistered and not the 94% of the legal ones? So that I understand”.
The entire speech of the Deputy Minister of Sports:
“Thank you for your question, because you give me the opportunity to inform the Chamber about the developments in the matter of amateur football.
With article 142 of Law 4714/2020, we established the Electronic Register of Sports Associations. We haven’t invented the wheel! The Register of Sports Associations was foreseen by law 4373/2016 of Mr. Kontonis, which required a series of bureaucratic and time-consuming procedures and supporting documents. We simplified the procedures!
The Register is, in essence, an extension of the granting of Special Sports Recognition, provided for in Law 2725/1999.
Our goal: legitimacy, order and transparency in the sports edifice and providing universal access to all.
Everyone can know by sport, how many household, legal and active amateur associations there are: the parents who trust their children, the athletes, the coaches, the sponsors, the executives.
And, of course, the distinguished athletes to make use of the scoring for their admission to Higher Education.
The registration of associations in the Registry is their legalization. These legal and active sports associations can, among others, enjoy the benefits of the State:
- are financed annually and directly from the “piggy bank” of support, through the taxation of the winnings of the Bet players
- use the public sports facilities
- enjoy the incentives established by the State.
In fact, to make it easier for all Associations in this three-year period, we granted three extensions for their registration, until:
- 31/07/2022 (given since last year, for one year, due to pandemic).
- 17/08/2022 (at the request of the President of the EPO)
- 05/09/2022 (due to the meeting with FIFA-UEFA).
On September 2, we held a four-part meeting at the Deputy Ministry of Sports, with representatives of FIFA, UEFA and EPO. In fact, the President of Mrs. Takis Baltakos participated. Object of the meeting: the obligation of amateur football clubs to have the Special Sports Identification and to register in the Electronic Register of Sports Clubs.
At the meeting, the EPO:
a) accepted the absolute obligation of having a Special Sports Identification.
b) committed to a new meeting on 07/09/2022 with an updated list of active football clubs per PES, in order to continue the dialogue.
However, the EPO postponed the meeting. It did not keep its commitment, nor did it ever present a different list of active football clubs, than the one we already had officially from the EPS.
In fact, the EPO, through its President, proceeded with a series of inconsistencies:
- while by e-mail (on 28-07-2022) he requested an extension of the registration of the associations in the Registry…
- immediately after the 4-part meeting, he publicly stated that “we will push for Special Sports Recognition for all clubs”,
- but in his speech at G.S. of the EPO on 30/09/2022, Mr. Baltakos said “we are here today because there are fossils from the 50s… Neither should there be a special sports recognition, nor should the Region give permission and the Police intervene so as not to lets them play football”.
These actions demonstrate the lack of credibility on the part of the Federation and many PES and do not show any spirit of cooperation in the common goal of implementing transparency conditions.
However, at the Deputy Ministry we made another attempt to facilitate the Unions. Following the requests of some PES and in the context of the willingness to cooperate that we consistently have, we filed a provision, with which we essentially facilitate 301 additional amateur football clubs to settle, as well as 240 clubs of other sports!
In fact, the provision is discussed and voted on tomorrow in the Plenary!
Furthermore, as early as September 26, 2022, we informed, by letter, FIFA and UEFA about the filing of the provision in question, as well as the non-attendance of the EPO at our pre-arranged appointment.
According to the data sent by the 54 EPS of our country to the Deputy Ministry of Sports, there are, according to their statement, 2,585 active football clubs.
To date, 1,959 amateur football clubs are fully registered in the Registry, while the applications of an additional 301 amateur football clubs are in the control or “treatment” stage.
Therefore, out of the 2,585 active associations declared by the 54 EPS, 2,260 sports associations, i.e. 87.5%, have been formed in accordance with the requirements of the law and have entered the Registry.
However, at the EPO General Assembly on 30/09/2022, the majority of Associations voted in favor of suspending the leagues, deciding to put a tombstone on amateur football.
In fact, they went even further, in the completely undemocratic way: if any EPA decides to start its own league, it will be expelled from the EPO.
That is, EPO and Associations:
- opposed the sports law,
- they turned against the Unions themselves, since the vast majority (87.5%) has already moved in favor of legitimacy, choosing to fight with conditions of order and transparency.
- they ignored the benefits that the unions have received from the existence of the Register.
- in 2021, the amateur unions, thanks to the Registry, received directly from the State, for the first time, the sum of 2,500 euros each to deal with the extraordinary conditions of the pandemic,
- at Christmas 2021, for the first time each association received the amount – at least – of 1,600 euros (for each sport it promotes) from the taxation of the betting players’ profits.
- In January 2023, amateur associations registered in the Register will receive new financial support from the taxation of betting profits. It has already been announced on 04-08-2022 by the Minister of Finance: “the measure is of a permanent and lasting nature and new funding is planned to be given in January”.
The PES are responsible for the situation in amateur football. Some want:
- that there is no control, so that they can maintain illegal unions in order to influence the electoral procedures,
- that there is no order, transparency and legality,
- some minimal factors, to keep the unions as small family businesses,
At the same time, the vast majority of football players and athletes wish for order and legitimacy and express their anxiety for the future of amateur football.
The EPO and part of the EPS are FULLY RESPONSIBLE for the unfavorable development in amateur football:
- The EPO is indifferent to 87.5% of its sports associations.
- They made an undemocratic decision, which supports the “illegal” 12.5% of amateur unions.
- They create an artificial deadlock for opposition reasons.
- They are “shooting themselves in the foot”, condemning amateur football.
- They deny sport to young people and especially children, negatively affecting at least 200,000 families across the country, harming local communities. Thousands of families in every region are deprived of playing football, with many consequences: from the discouragement, especially of the young generation, to actively engage in sports, to the serious economic and social consequences.
- They undermine the future of young athletes: the scoring for admission to the Universities requires the possession of a Special Sports Recognition and inclusion in the Registry for all the clubs that participate in the events.
Let me remind you that this is not how the winners of the Mixed Association Championship were scored in 2020 and there is a problem with scoring in the K18 and K16 Indoor championships, where teams without Special Sports Recognition participated last year, despite our warnings to the EPO.
More specific information from the Registry for the Larissa PE:
- the Larisa Football Club has officially informed us (as of 02/03/2022) that it has 83 active football clubs,
- 72 clubs are registered in the Electronic Register of Sports Clubs,
- have submitted a final application and the registration of an additional 9 clubs is pending (of which 3 were not active last season).
- In total, 78 of the 83 (94%) active football clubs of EPS Larisa came to the Registry. So, is the fuss being made for the 6% of the unregistered and not for the 94% of the legal ones? So that I understand!
Parents, athletes, “healthy” union agents, see who puts a tombstone in amateur football. And the vast majority of them want transparency and housing!
We are glad that many PES have already taken steps to revise their attitude and are pressuring the EPO to start racing immediately!
So you blame us, why exactly? Because we remain steadfast in what we had announced in the first place? Because we are consistent in our commitments?
We are not blackmailed by any of them! The 12.5% of the indifferent football base cannot blackmail the vast majority of 87.5%!
We continue and it goes without saying that we remain open to dialogue, but with respect to the 6,362 associations of all sports, which have come to the Register and support the rule of law and order in the sports structure”.
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