AEK Athens v Olympiakos Greek Cup game abandoned after crowd trouble

AEK Athens Olympic Stadium - general view
Image: The Olympic Stadium in Athens

The Greek Cup quarter-final between AEK Athens and Olympiakos was abandoned on Wednesday after a pitch invasion by supporters at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.

A group of around 20 AEK fans ran on to the pitch and threw objects at players and police moments after their team went 1-0 down in the second leg of the tie after Franco Jara scored for Olympiakos in the 89th minute.

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

Just over 30 minutes later officials announced that the game would not resume and Olympiakos will progress to the semi-finals automatically.

The Greek Super League resumed only last weekend, with matches played behind closed doors following a one-week suspension due to persistent crowd trouble, and this was the first high-profile game to be watched by fans since then as a capacity crowd of 65,000 packed into the stadium for the derby.

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

The league was suspended on February 26 due to persistent crowd trouble and after a Super League board meeting ended in a brawl.

Greece's recently-elected Syriza ruling party has said it is determined to stamp out football crowd violence.

Shortly after the latest incidents, Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis, who was in the stadium but left five minutes from time, issued a statement to announce that this weekend's Super League matches will again be played behind closed doors.

"By decision of the Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis and after the suggestion of the Greek Police and the committee to combat violence in sports, the Super League matches for the coming weekend will be held behind closed doors. The decision will be communicated to the proper authorities on Thursday," the statement said.

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