Hellenic Football Federation
The Hellenic Football Federation (HFF), also known as the Greek Football Federation (Greek: Ελληνική Ποδοσφαιρική Ομοσπονδία; ΕΠΟ), is the governing body of football in Greece. It contributes in the organisation of Super League Greece and organizes the Greek Cup and the Greece national team. It is based in Athens.
- 1 History
- 2 Milestones
- 3 Controversy: scandals and corruption
- 4 Organisation
- 5 Honours
- 6 HFF Presidents
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) was founded in 1926 by a decision of the three major Unions of the country: Athens, Piraeus and Thessalonica. Its foundation marked the organization of Greek football in compliance with international standards. Since then, the HFF has grown into the biggest sports federation in Greece, as football in the country is regarded as the "king of sports" coming first in the preferences of sports fans.
The HFF is considered a private legal entity and a non-profit organization with registered offices in Athens. It is the only exclusively qualified body in Greece to represent the interests of Greek football and prohibits any political, religious or racial discrimination.
In 1927, the HFF became a member of FIFA and in 1954 became one of the first members of UEFA. Amongst its obligations as member of international sports bodies, the HFF accepts the statutes, regulations, directives and decisions issued by FIFA and UEFA. The HFF also has to ensure that they are accepted by all individuals and clubs in Greek football.
On 3 July 2006, FIFA ruled the HFF was failing to adhere to the principles of the FIFA statutes regarding FIFA's political independence. Accordingly, the HFF was indefinitely suspended from international football. In response, Greek officials proposed a change in FIFA's law. However, FIFA ruled it too constituted an interference of the government in matters that should be under the football federation's jurisdiction. As such, FIFA concluded Greece would not be able to meet its 15 July 2006 deadline and should therefore be suspended until further notice. The suspension would have meant Greek clubs would not be allowed to participate in international competitions, and that the Greece national team would not be able to participate in international matches. There were also doubts cast over whether the 2007 UEFA Champions League final will be played at Athens' Olympic Stadium as previously scheduled.
However, on 7 July 2006, the Greek government ratified a new version of the sports law, granting the HFF independence and therefore adherence to FIFA's laws. FIFA announced the lifting of its ban that day, judging that the amendments adhered to FIFA and UEFA statutes. This allowed Greece to participate in UEFA Euro 2008 and also allowed Greek clubs to participate in European competitions.
On 11 December 2008, HFF president Vassilis Gagatsis resigned from his position after an eight-year tenure. New elections were held on 17 January 2009, making Giorgos Sarris the new president. However, Sarris' election was controversial, with reports claiming the election was not fair and that Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis had allegedly using his power to help appoint Sarris.
In April 2013, the HFF announced its new partnership with Nike, which also became the official supplier of clothes and equipment for the Greece national team. On the eve of the announcement, Giorgos Sarris praised the new partnership hoping that "it will contribute to the overall advancement of domestic football".
- 1926: Foundation of the Hellenic Football Federation
- 1927: The Hellenic Football Federation becomes a member of FIFA
- 1954: The Hellenic Football Federation becomes one of the founding members of UEFA
- 2004: The Greece national team wins UEFA Euro 2004
The HFF has organised major football events with success. The most important "moments", as to the participating clubs, are:
- 1971: European Cup Winners' Cup final, Chelsea–Real Madrid (1–0)
- 1973: European Cup Winners' Cup final, A.C. Milan–Leeds United (1–0)
- 1983: European Cup final Hamburger SV–Juventus (1–0)
- 1987: European Cup Winners' Cup final, Lokomotive Leipzig–Ajax (0–1)
- 1994: Champions League final, Milan–Barcelona (4–0)
- 2007: Champions League final, Milan–Liverpool (2–1)
Controversy: scandals and corruption
The incident first came to light after UEFA issued a report, which drew attention to 40 matches that were rigged in Greek football in the 2009–10 season. The initial probe into the incident involved approximately 80 individuals suspected of wrongdoing. Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis was also accused of using his position in Greek football and special relationship with the president of the HFF, to appoint favorable referees to matches. Marinakis was later acquitted from all charges by the Prosecutor and the Council of Judges and the decision is final.
2015 Greek football scandal
The 2015 Greek football scandal emerged on 6 April 2015 when prosecutor Aristidis Korreas' 173-page work was revealed. Telephone tapping operated by the National Intelligence Service of Greece since 2011 has played a significant role in the case. According to the prosecutor's conclusion, Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis along with HFF members Theodoros Kouridis and Georgios Sarris, were suspected of directing a criminal organization since 2011. The goal behind their scheme was allegedly to "absolutely control Greek football's fate by the methods of blackmailing and fraud", exploiting the self-governing ("autonomy") status of national football federations promoted by FIFA and UEFA.
In 2016, a temporary administration was placed by FIFA and UEFA due to the scandal.
The HFF has also been subject to allegations of other crimes, including blackmail and tax evasion. In November 2013, a team of prosecutors raided the headquarters of the HFF in order to find evidence of illegal activity. There have been allegations some of the teams have failed to pay their taxes by submitting fake documents.
The structure of the HFF is pyramid shaped. It is based on 2,000,000 football players and 5,773 football clubs, 3,700 from which are actively participating in official competitions of every kind, which take place throughout the country, covering all ages. The clubs come under the 53 Regional Unions of Football Clubs. The professional competitions are being organized by the Professional League (Greek League). The HFF is the supreme football authority, the one that all the clubs and professional teams come under and forms the top of the pyramid.
The General Assembly, convening once a year, is actually the HFF parliament. It is the Assembly that, according to the Statutes, decides on everything about Greek football. They can change the Statutes and the regulations of the Federation, enforce new ones, audit the financial review for the previous fiscal year and the budget for the year to come, vote (every four years) and monitor the Administration's work.
The divisions of H.F.F. are: The Sporting Division, the Management Division, the Finance and Marketing Division, the International Relations Division, and the Press and Mass Media Division.
The operation of H.F.F. relies on the above-mentioned divisions that function on the responsibility of their respective managers, as much as, the Committees of the Executive Board, which, according to the Statutes of the Federation, are the following:
- The Disciplinary Committee (first and second instance)
- The Appeal Committee
- The Financial Dispute Resolution Committee (second instance)
- The Central Referee's Committee, which comprises three members and controls the entire referee field in Greece
- The Players' Status-Transfer Committee
1. Regulations Committee
2. International Relations Committee
3. Technical Committee
4. Greek Cup Committee
5. Procurements Committee
6. Divisions Committee
7. Selections Team Committee
8. Mass Media and Public Relations Committee
9. Legal Matters Committee
10. Violence Committee
11. Medical Committee
12. International Amateur Football Committee
13. Amateur Football Committee
14. Licensing Committee
15. Football Managers Committee
16. Training Board
17. Futsal (indoor football) Committee
18. Finance Committee
19. Statistics and Stadium Committee
20. Youth Amateur Football Committee
21. Women's Football Committee
The H.F.F. is responsible for doping control in all the Greek championships.
- Winners (1): 2004
Below are the presidents of HFF:
- "History of Greek Football". Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- Sky Sports[permanent dead link]
- "MasterCard - Global Leading Company in Payment Solutions Offering Credit, Debit, Prepaid Cards & More". Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany (12 July 2006). "Fifa-Sperre: Griechische Regierung lenkt ein". SPIEGEL ONLINE. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- Gagatsis resigns as EPO president[dead link]
- "Broken promises – the sad tale of Greek football". October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "Europe's Football Battlefield". September 26, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "Nike and Hellenic Football Federation announce partnership". April 10, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "Football fixing scandal rocks Greek elite". June 24, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "Greek soccer officials in refereeing probe to face prosecutor on Sept 15". August 20, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "The alleged corruption of Evangelos Marinakis and the press that refuses to report on it". Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "Greece and the financial politics of football". October 21, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "Probe into Greek soccer corruption gathers pace". July 8, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "Full and complete acquittal for Olympiacos' Marinakis". en.protothema.gr. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
- "AIPS Web Site - Full and complete acquittal for Olympiacos president Marinakis". www.aipsmedia.com. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
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- Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 12. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- "Greece charges 41 over match-fixing as football scandal deepens". europe.newsweek.com. 27 May 2015.
- Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 159. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- "Op-Ed: Greek officials still playing dirty". Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Sixteen reportedly charged in Greek football match-fixing investigation". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Europe's Football Battlefield". International Policy Digest. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Marinakis accused for bribery". sdna.gr. 13 May 2015.
- "Prosecutors examine EPO's Illegal Activities". November 15, 2013.
- "Greek corruption undermining recovery". October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- Θάνος Σαρρής (28 May 2015). "H μεγάλη μπίζνα της διαιτησίας". Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- Pegasus Interactive. "Υπόθεση «πυραμίδας» στη διαιτησία!". ethnos.gr. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- "Ex-referees bring elements about "pyramid scheme"". Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- "Soccer-Greek soccer chief charged with forgery". ESPN.com. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- Paulo Felix. "Crime and football". OSINT. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- sentragoal.gr (in Greek)