http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/foot...ls/5141866.stmOriginally Posted by BBC SportGreece given suspension by Fifa
European champions Greece ignored repeated warnings, say Fifa
Fifa has suspended European champions Greece and its member clubs from international competition because of government interference in the sport.
World governing body Fifa said the Hellenic Football Federation had broken rules on "the independence of members and decision-making in each country".
It means Greek clubs and officials are banned from European competitions.
And it jeopardises Steve McClaren's first game as England boss - a friendly against Greece on 16 August.
The suspension will be in place with "immediate effect and until further notice", according to a Fifa statement.
Fifa said that it had issued several warnings to the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) to guarantee, by a 15 July deadline, that the running of football in the country would be free from political movement - but this had been ignored.
If Greece have been suspended by Fifa, we would want to speak to Fifa and the Greek Federation to clarify the situation
In particular, Fifa cited a proposed new Greek law on professional football leagues in the country that "constitutes another example of interference from the government in football affairs".
Sports Minister George Orfanos drafted the law shortly after the conservatives came to power in 2004, and the Greek FA claim it compromises its independence.
Orfanos had repeatedly publicly pledged to revise the law but never did.
Therefore, the statement added, "the Fifa Emergency Committee has determined that this suspension is necessary".
The HFF released their own comunique, accusing Orfanos of "playing with fire".
"He is leading Greek football to international isolation and placing it outside the international soccer community," read the statement.
"Instead of fully freeing Greek soccer from state intervention, (Orfanos) has legalized state intervention and sidelined the federation, with no concern for the consequences that have been explained to him in detail."
Under the suspension, the likes of AEK Athens, Olympiakos and Panathinaikos will not be allowed to compete in the Champions League or Uefa Cup next season.
Greek FA chief Vassilis Gagatsis, who has repeatedly clashed with Sports Minister George Orfanos over the non-independence matter, refused to comment on the suspension.
Meanwhile, the Football Association's director of communications Adrian Bevington said that he would seek clarification on the matter to find out if England's friendly against Greece at Old Trafford could go ahead.
"Obviously, if Greece have been suspended by Fifa, we would want to speak to Fifa and the Greek Federation to clarify the situation," he said.