Unruly fans continue to spoil Greek football
On Sunday, Olympiacos head coach Oscar Garcia was struck in the face by a flying object before playing PAOK in Thessaloniki, but it certainly wasn’t the first time when fans disrupted play with their unruly behaviour.
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Long suffering from serious problems controlling fans inside grounds, football in the country is running the risk of being ruined by certain individuals who decide to spoil matches with their idiotism. In a featured article, AGONAsport looks back at incidents involving Greece’s Big-4 which saw fans hurl objects at players, coaches and police during matches in recent years.
2018: Olympiacos - AEK (Super League)
Immediately after the final whistle blew on AEK’s dramatic 2:1 victory at the Karaiskakis Stadium, around 50 Olympiacos fans charged on to the pitch and launched flares at riot police inside the arena. The Thrylos were then dealt a three-point deduction and two home matches without fans at the stadium in Piraeus.
2017: Panathinaikos - PAOK (Super League playoffs)
One of the most recent examples of fan trouble in Greece. During a hotly contested Super League playoff match between Panathinaikos and PAOK at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, a home fan chucked a beer can at PAOK manager Vladimir Ivic, causing the latter to be taken away in an ambulance and the match being prematurely called off.
2016: PAOK - Olympiacos (Greek Cup)
Marco Silva got a water bottle thrown on his back in the doomed Greek Cup semi-final in Thessaloniki. The game continued, but it was eventually brought to a close on the 89th minute mark as PAOK fans protested Robert Mak’s controversial red card by launching flares onto the field of play.
2015: Panathinaikos - Olympiacos (Super League)
Ahead of Greece’s biggest derby, Olympiacos players walked out to get a feel for the atmosphere at Panathinaikos’ home ground in Athens. However, they ended up getting flares chucked at them, resulting in the game being cancelled and Olympiacos taking a free three points.
2015: PAOK - Olympiacos (Super League)
Once again, a PAOK home fixture against Olympiacos saw more fan trouble erupt. After 60 minutes, Alejandro Dominguez went to take a corner, but something was launched at his back (appeared to be a metal object). Despite the incident, the teams ended up playing out a 0:0 draw in the Super League.
2014: Olympiacos - Panathinaikos (Super League)
The Thrylos lost this derby horribly at the Karaiskakis Stadium, going down 0:3 to their bitter rivals Panathinaikos in Piraeus. Away boss Giannis Anastasiou was hit in the face by what appeared to be a plastic cup travelling in his direction.
2013: Panathinaikos - Olympiacos (Super League)
At a packed Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, Olympiacos claimed a dramatic 1:0 victory thanks to Kostas Mitroglou’s last gasp winner. Home fans opted to give Mitroglou an extra gift for his heroics by dropping a can of coke over his body.
2011: PAOK - Olympiacos (Greek Cup)
Olympiacos’ Belgian attacker Kevin Mirallas received a red card towards the end of the Greek Cup showdown against PAOK, but as he left the field, he was hit by something thrown by the supporters. Interestingly, due to a previous punishment, PAOK barely had any fans inside the Toumba Stadium for this particular match (behind “closed doors”).
2011: PAOK - AEK (Greek Cup)
In the second half of PAOK’s 0:1 home defeat to AEK in the Greek Cup, the Thessaloniki club’s fans opted to throw a flare into the back of away goalkeeper Sebastian Saja. Later on, PAOK supporters created chaos at the Toumba by attempting yet another pitch invasion.
2009: Olympiacos - Panathinaikos (Super League)
Panathinaikos goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas felt something smack his back just before he denied Olympiacos a goal with an excellent save. The referee didn’t take much notice though, with the game continuing and the Thrylos winning 2:0.
2009: PAOK - Olympiacos (Super League)
In the dying moments of a 0:0 draw at the Toumba Stadium, Olympiacos’ Serbian midfielder Predrag Djordjevic seemed to be struck in the face by an object which was thrown from the most active section of the PAOK fans. When the game reached its completion, fans decided to make a pitch invasion.
*- There are plenty of further incidents which have occurred in Greek football over the past few years, but the list is simply endless with several other episodes taking place in matches with different teams involved.