By Chris Wright
The Athens derby between the two strongest sides in Greek football, Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, had to be abandoned with eight minutes left after sadly predictable rioting broke out amongst the crowd (populated solely by Panathinaikos fans as, ironically, no Olympiakos fans were allowed to attend for fear of trouble) though, in actuality, the match was beset with violence and stupidity which began several hours before kick-off when hundreds of youths attempted to make their way into the stadium without tickets.
The second half started over half-an-hour late due to trouble at the interval, which had spilled over from the first half when a group of 200-odd hooded yobs took their place in the VIP section armed with clubs and flares and the like, before fires were started in the terraces of the Olympic Stadium during the latter stages of the game and firebombs were hurled at the gathering riot police.
Apparently, the violence was partly incited by the fact that Greek police invaded the Panathinaikos Ultra’s ‘Gate 13’ clubhouse earlier in the week and partly because, well…the ‘fans’ responsible are little more than frothing animals intent on causing as much mayhem as possible.
Of course, the exact same thing happened in this fixture a year ago – the ‘Derby of Shame’ that ‘set Greek football back 100 years’ – which, by way of simple mathematics, presumably means that the sequel has now put Greek football roughly two centuries in the hole. Sounds about right.
The police later announced that 57 people had been detained and only a further 20 arrested, while 11 police officers were injured, two of them seriously.
Skip to the 1:40 mark for the firebomb…
Fans attacking riot police with flares…
Photos of the madness…