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Soccer-Greek supporter ban to continue after cup pitch invasion
March 12, 2015 / 8:52 AM / 3 years ago

Soccer-Greek supporter ban to continue after cup pitch invasion

ATHENS, Mar 12 (Reuters) - Super League matches in Greece will take place behind closed doors for the second week running following a pitch invasion that led to the abandonment of a Greek Cup quarter-final between AEK Athens and Olympiakos on Wednesday.

“Following recommendations from the deputy minister for culture, education and religion Stavros Kontonis, as well as the Hellenic Police and DEAV (the commission against violence), the 28th round of games will take place behind closed doors,” a government statement said on Thursday.

“The decision will be forwarded to the (Super League) organising authority,” it added.

Greece’s turbulent soccer season continued as the second leg tie between Athens rivals AEK and Olympiakos at the Olympic Stadium was abandoned after a group of around 20 AEK fans ran on to the pitch and threw objects at players and police.

The incident occurred moments after their team fell 1-0 behind to Franco Jara’s 89th-minute goal for Olympiakos.

The Olympiakos players immediately left the pitch and were soon followed by match officials and AEK players as police moved in to restore order.

A little more than half an hour later, officials announced that the game would not restart and Olympiakos would progress to the semi-finals automatically.

The Super League resumed only last weekend with matches played behind closed doors following a one-week suspension due to persistent crowd trouble.

AEK, who lead Greece’s second tier, now face the threat of a three-point deduction which is the disciplinary penalty for a game being abandoned due to a pitch invasion.

A capacity crowd of 65,000 packed into the Olympic Stadium for the derby, the first high-profile match attended by supporters since the league resumed last weekend with games played in empty stadiums.

The recently elected Syriza ruling party has said it was determined to stamp out soccer crowd violence. (Editing by John O‘Brien)

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