World Football - AEK Athens criticise referee after defeat

AEK Athens complained on Tuesday that they had been the subject of a "slaughtering" by referee Praxitelis Zachariadis after a 1-0 defeat at Panthrakikos left the team bottom of the Greek Super League.

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World Football - AEK Athens criticise referee after defeat
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SK Sturm Graz's Joachim Standfest and AEK Athens' Viktor Klonaridis fight for the ball (Reuters)

AEK coach Ewald Lienen vented his frustration at Zachariadis immediately after the loss. The German was upset by what appeared to be an offside in the build-up to Marama Vahirua's second-half goal and thought his team deserved a penalty after Michalis Pavlis was felled by Deniz Baykara.

AEK followed up Lienen's comments with a strongly-worded statement which could prompt disciplinary action from the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO).

"On one of our bad days we also had to experience a slaughtering from referee Zachariadis," said the statement.

"There were mistakes which altered the outcome of the match and confirmed once again that AEK's efforts this year are being undermined.

"We would like to inform everyone that no matter how much some people try to destroy AEK, they will not succeed," it concluded.

Cash-strapped AEK had to sell almost their entire first-team squad in the close season to secure a licence to play in the Super League.

On Monday, the EPO said Panathinaikos would face disciplinary action for provocative public statements against referees.

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