Aris Thessaloniki goalie Marios Siampanis has been placed under 24-hour police protection after reporting a bribery attempt, Greek media reported on Tuesday.
Reports said that four policemen have been assigned to guard the 21-year-old player after numerous threats against him on social media.
On December 14, Siampanis sent letters to the Greek football federation and Super League reporting that he was “approached before the Aris-PAOK derby in Thessaloniki on Sunday to give a poor performance.”
Siampanis also complained that PAOK had reacted by attacking him.
In a post on Instagram he said he was angry that PAOK had posted his contract with Aris and personal details on their club web site.
Siampanis came through the PAOK youth system but left the club for Olympiakos of Athens who then released him after one year. He then returned to Thessaloniki and signed with Aris.
On December 17, PAOK posted a fulminating statement on their web page suggesting that his move to Aris was part of a conspiracy against them.
PAOK said that Siampanis “shocked the country with his selflessness in passing up the opportunity of earning money with Olympiakos for the sake of Aris, for about one-sixth of the amount he would have earned.”
Siampanis said he thought PAOK had obtained his contract details from the Greek football federation. He said PAOK were behaving unreasonably.
“Do you understand that there are limits?” he asked on Instagram.
“Do you understand that my family and I are not a toy to use us so cheaply and is such a cowardly way? Is it my fault that I did not take the money? Is it my fault that I complained about it? Is it possible for my federation instead of protecting me to give my contracts to become flyers and for anyone to have access to my address?”
He said PAOK’s goal “was to get my personal information out. Your goal was to get the message across. So I answer you: I will not bend.
“Football should be a joy, not a mess and I still dream of it. And I will fight for it. My lawyer is already doing what is needed,” Siampanis said.
He has testified before a Sports Violence Department prosecutor who is investigating the case.
“We stand by the side of Marios who received defamatory comments and also physical threats against himself and his family. The case is now in the hands of the Greek judicial authorities, which are the only institutions capable of administering justice,” the Greek professional football players’ association said in a statement last week.