Athens, Greece: Greek Super League referees announced Thursday that they are on an indefinite strike in protest at the “cowardly attack” of one of their colleagues on Wednesday in Larissa.
“As a minimum sign of sympathy for our worthy colleague we will refrain from our activities until further notice,” the announcement from the association of referees in the top flight said.
Thanasis Tzilos, who has recently earned his FIFA badge, was attacked by four hooded assailants as he left his home in the central Greek town of Larissa.
He was released from hospital on Thursday where he received stitches for head and leg injuries.
Tzilos’ last match was 10 days earlier when Xanthi and Olympiakos played out a 1-1 draw.
According to Greek website sport24.gr there have been 33 attacks or threats to referees recorded in the country since 2009.
“We express our indignation of the cowardly attack against our colleague Thanasis Tzilos and the repeated attacks on referees. We will not allow those people to continue trying to terrorise us,” said the announcement by the referees.
The Greek football federation, the Super League, the clubs and government officials all condemned the attack on the 33-year-old referee who is also a civil engineer by profession.
“Greek football has reached the pits” said Olympiakos while Panathinaikos said “the mafia in Greek football lives and reigns.”
The federation has informed both UEFA and FIFA about the incident and Larissa police are continuing their investigation in order to find the culprits.