Greek Federation president files lawsuit against Giannakopoulos

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

The president of the Hellenic Basketball Federation Vangelis Liolios addressed multiple topics, including Panathinaikos OPAP owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos and AEK in a press conference Tuesday.

Nine months after being elected president of Greece’s Basketball Federation, the successor of Giorgos Vassilakopoulos and former president of Promitheas held a press conference and revealed he has sued Giannakopoulos and accused him of defamation of character. He recalled Giannakopoulos publicly criticizing him in the buildup of the elections for the next president of EOK (Hellenic Basketball Federation) but made it clear that the lawsuit concerns further demonstrations of opposition following him being named president.

“It is completely different for Mr. Giannakopoulos to talk against the president of EOK. It is an institution. Untouchable,” he explained, “Of course, I filed a lawsuit against Mr. Giannakopoulos because nobody should be moving against the president of the federation. He can say anything he wants about me, personally. But not about an established role such as the president of EOK.”

Giannakopoulos, 48, recently disclosed his intentions to help Panathinaikos bounce back after a disappointing season in both the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and domestic competitions.

Furthermore, Liolios discussed AEK’s accusations against the Hellenic Basketball Federation after the initial decision to reject the license to compete in the top-tier division of Greece. Both the Federation and the team have already shared information with the prosecutor’s office, as confirmed by Liolios but he called for AEK to also present evidence to support the claims of a criminal association at the helm of Greek basketball.

HEBA, the Hellenic Basketball Clubs Association and governing body of Greece’s Basket League, has since voted in favor of overturning EOK’s decision to revoke the licensing of AEK, Aris, Larissa, and Apollon Oscar. Apparently, seemingly staying in the top-flight division of Greece was just the tip of the iceberg in the heated relationship between AEK and the Federation.

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