AEK receive suspended European ban
The UEFA Disciplinary Committee revealed its decision concerning the incidents witnessed during AEK’s match against Ajax in November, handing the Athenians a suspended ban from European competition.
Back on 27 November 2018, AEK hosted Ajax at the Olympic Stadium, however the UEFA Champions League group stage match was undermined by trouble between rival fans. Inside the OAKA, a section of AEK supporters approached the sector containing Ajax fans, hurling flares and a Molotov cocktail towards them. Although no casualties were reported, the scenes shocked the footballing world, and AEK, Ajax and Panathinaikos fans had fought against each other the night before the match. AEK eventually lost the game 0:2 and came in last place of Group E.
On Friday, the decision made by the UEFA Disciplinary Committee became known, with the organisation making this official statement:
The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has decided:
- To exclude AEK Athens FC from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it will otherwise qualify. This sanction is suspended for a probationary period of two years.
- To order the club to play its next 2 UEFA competition matches as host club behind closed doors.
- To fine AEK Athens FC €80,000.
The CEDB has decided to close the proceedings against AFC Ajax at the same match.”
At the moment, AEK sit in third place of the Super League, meaning they’re on course to qualify for the 2019/2020 UEFA Europa League. In accordance with the punishment dished out by UEFA, AEK would be allowed to compete in the competition, but any other incident within the next two years will then result in a one-season ban from European tournaments.
Assuming AEK finish in third or fourth position of the current Super League campaign, they will enter the 2019/2020 Europa League at the second qualifying stage. AEK would then have to play their first two home matches of the European season behind closed doors. There is also an added fine of 80,000 euros.