Independent Balkan News Agency

Athens turned into a battlefield before and after the cancellation of the derby Panathinaikos - Olympiakos

Athens turned into a battlefield before and after the cancellation of the derby Panathinaikos - Olympiakos
Athens, November 23, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Serious epsiodes marred once again the football match between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos, which this time it didn't even take place, since for safety reasons the game was postponed, a decision that turned the "Leoforos" stadium and the surrounding area into a battlefield.

During the incidents the police proceeded in at least 50 arrests and 16 detentions, while three police officers were injured and have been hospitalised after melee clashes between security forces and supporters inside and outside the stadium.

More serious is the condition of the one who is hospitalised at the 401 Military Hospital with head trauma conceding hit with chair although, according to police sources, the state of health does not cause particular concern.

The injury of the police officer from the first moment drew the concern and interest of deputy minister for sports Stavros Kontonis, who immediately called to learn about the state of his health and was informed that there is no risk. The police officer was visited at the 401 military hospital by the general secretary of Sport Ioulios Synadinos.

The events that led to the cancellation

The tension started two hours before the scheduled start of the game, at around 17.30, outside gate 13, where fans of the "green" scuffled with police, when they responded to police commands to get in the specific gate in sections.

The situation did not take long to escalate, with police firing tear gas and the fans of Panathinaikos responding throwing stones, irons and generally what they found before them.

Although the situation calmed down a little later, since the atmosphere was already suffocating, the tension continued with young fans setting garbage bins around the stadium on fire, while there was the occasionally skirmish with police forces.

But the decisive event which allegedly influenced the decision of the arbitrators was the drop of two flares on the pitch of "Leoforos", a few minutes after the entry of the players of Olympiacos (18:15), one of which hit the foot of the player o f the "Reds", Alfred Finnbogason, while Milivogevits was also slightly injured.

After the consultations that followed, and while the spirits seemed to have calmed down for the time being, it was decided to postpone the game "for security reasons". The decision angered fans, resulting in both inside the stadium and the area around it turning into a battlefield.

Two-three hooded persons broke the door of Gate 13 and entered the stadium. One was holding a smoke grenade and threw it to the riot police without anyone getting injured.

Follow real panic in the stands. Dozens of smoke lit, the fans began to disapprove of Stavros Kontonis in chorus, while police forces developed around the stadium, with most of them focusing on the center of the pitch and to the Gate of the organised supporters.

Immediately after that, hooded men started firing flares and smoke bombs toward the police, while the wrath of fans also turned to the Press booth, creating a suffocating atmosphere.

The prosecutor filed a number of felony and misdemeanor charges against those arrested during the incidents on Alexandras Avenue, which resulted in the wounding of three policemen and the cancellation of the game between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos.

The defendants are charged, among other things, with infringements of the law on extracurricular sports, explosion, possession of explosives, serious intended bodily harm, dangerous bodily harm, disturbing the civil peace and resisting authority.

The file that was formed was assigned to a regular prosecutor, before whom the accused will testify.

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