Greek professional football Cup suspended over hooligan violence

Greek professional football Cup suspended over hooligan violence

Athens, March 3, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Marina Spyropoulou

Greece’s professional football Cup was indefinitely suspended on Thursday in response to the latest hooligan violence incidents that have cast a dark shadow on the Greek stadiums.

Following a cabinet meeting Deputy Sport Minister Stavros Kontonis issued an announcement warning with further measures should the situation does not improve.

A similar suspension of the Super League championship was not unlikely in coming weeks, with tensions running high between rival clubs, local sportscasters commented.

Thursday’s decision was made a day after the first semi-final for the Greek Cup in Thessaloniki between the local club PAOK and Olympiakos never ended.

PAOK supporters stormed the stadium in the final minutes of the match to protest the referee’s decision to deny a penalty to the hosts by hurling flares and clashing with police.

It was not the first time that a Greek stadium was turning into a battlefield. The Greek football has suffered from hooligan violence for decades.

Last year the Super League championship was interrupted three times following similar incidents which in one case resulted in the fatal injury of a spectator in Crete.