Dear ice sports friends,
With the present article, we would like to inform you about the tragic situation that took place for all ice sports in Greece.
In 2009 Greece was chosen to hold in Athens the World Championship of Ice Hockey, Division III, group A'. Nonetheless the championship did not take place. Mr. Chatziathanassiou wanted to be subsidized and sponsored by the Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Culture and the Greek Olympic Committee, with huge sums of money, that were not needed for a fairly small in contestants world championship, (four teams, division III) and that could not be funded by the country's economy resources. In December 1, 2009 became HISF as arranged the indoor Olympic Stadium of Wrestling in Ano Liosia for training and the holding of the 2010 IIHF Championship, but Mr. Chatziathanassiou instead of starting the construction of the ice rink in Ano Liosia, as decided by the Federations Board, with the funds of the federation, and the Greek government, decided to build instead: illegally, his own private fun ice rink named “Athens Heart”. On Friday, December 19, 2009, and despite the fierce objections of most members of the Board, Mr. Chatziathanassiou inaugurated his private skating rink, as a consequence on: Monday, December 21, 2009, 16 members - clubs of the federation decided to leave the federation, leaving it with 10 clubs. Also there were a series of charges made against Mr. Chatziathanassiou to the General Secretariat of Sports, of the Ministry of Culture, of the Greek Olympic Committee and the Greek courts of justice. The Greek sports law requires the existence of 15 registered Club - members so that a federation can legally operate. Since then the administration of that federation was deducted, so that each document and every move by Chatziathanassiou as president, is regarded as breach according to the criminal law of justice of the country. On March 2010 the Secretary General of Sport Mr. Mpitsaxis decided that the authority of Hellenic Ice Sports Federation (following the policies and procedures of the Greek law of sports) must be soon as possible removed and the federation has to be subjected to another association, which complies all legal procedures. Unfortunately, because of the economic situation of the country, no one pays more attention to sports, and especially to such a small and unimportant federation like HISF, which doesn’t have to show any success, that’s why until today the mandate of the General Secretary of Sports is not accomplished.
On September 1, 2010, the superior Greek court of law, the Council of Territory, issued a final decision to permanently stop all construction work in the private ice rink of Chatziathanassiou in Maroussi, which was judged as "completely illegal". Mr. Chatziathanassiou did not inform anyone in the IIHF semi - annual congress in September 2010, for the court decision made for him and for his own actions.
In order to mislead and take license by the Greek authorities, he pleased every international ice sports federation, (like IIHF, ISU, FIL, FIBT) through official un-legal "federation" documents to send a certificate so that he can be able to carry out his illegal championships on his private fun skating ice rink.
Mr. Chatziathanassiou’s fun ice rink, did not meet any necessary minimum standards, necessary for a sports arena event - ice rink. The ice rink is only 760 m2, while it should be minimum 1.456 m2, for an indoor arena, does not have 500 spectator seats but just 100 and have no security for both athletes and viewers, or changing rooms and toilets, in short, have nothing to comply with the IIHF regulations and minimum standards, as you can also see in the attached pictures. Of course there is the decision by the IIHF Council in September saying that until July 1, 2013 the member countries should conduct the championships under domestic legal regulations. But Greece has no domestic legal regulations for ice hockey, so the statute of HISF refers to the rules of IIHF and ISU, which HISF accepts. But Mr. Chatziathanassiou tells to everyone that he has the official certificate of IIHF and ISU, for his small, inappropriate and dangerous fun ice rink.
In late January 2011 started totally illegal Chatziathanassiou’s Greek Ice Hockey Championship. “Iptamenoi Pagodromoi”, the Ice Hockey Club with all National Player’s didn’t take part in that Championship. But how they will take part in the IIHF World Championship of 2011? Certainly to achieve the business objectives of Mr. Chatziathanassiou, he will not even hesitate to send to IIHF and ISU results and game sheds of championships that were not ever carried out. It will not be the first time.
It's a shame to see the Greek Men's Ice Hockey National Team, the main representative of the Greek Ice Hockey abroad, to participate for so many years without any appropriate training and preparation in IIHF official Championships, but despite all subsidies received by Mr. Chatziathanassiou, from the Greek state and from the international federations of ice sports (IIHF – ISU), actually required to participate in IIHF World Championships supported financially and morally only by itself, and risks to being several times rejected even from the participations, because of the serious mistakes and professional ambitions of a single man. And how comforting it can be for someone to describe the acquisition of the second place in Division III, group A’, where under normal conditions, this team could play today for sure in Division II, or maybe also in Division I worldwide?
All that years Mr. Chatziathanassiou as president of HISF, use all his efforts and power, to stop the plans of every ambitious businessman, who is interested in ice sports and wants to build a private ice rink with the minimum IIHF and ISU standards in Greece.
The only thing that us left is the hope that all Greek Ice Sports will eventually win the respect and support they needs in order to move on in the future.