Panathinaikos v Olympiakos: Athens derby abandoned after violence

Flags burn at Panathinaikos
Fans set fire to flags inside the stadium

Greek Super League side Panathinaikos say they "condemn unequivocally" the violence that saw their derby against city rivals Olympiakos abandoned.

Sunday's match was called off with 20 minutes to go after two pitch invasions and fighting between fans and police.

Players on the visiting bench were attacked by Panathinaikos fans in the first pitch invasion after just four minutes at the Athens Olympic Stadium.

Olympiakos had been leading 1-0 and were awarded the victory.

"Panathinaikos FC condemns unequivocally every act of violence that took place at the Olympic Stadium and led to the permanent interruption of the derby," the club said.

It accused "a small minority of the 25,000 fans" of failing to respect football and added: "From the administration's point of view, absolute condemnation of all forms of athletic violence is essential."

It called on the Greek government to "finally show that it stands in the face of these events and find an effective way to definitively fight the violence in the stadiums".

Olympiakos midfielder Kostas Fortounis saidexternal-link it was "difficult" to play in the game and pointed out that Panathinaikos players had attempted to calm their fans down.

"Both we and Panathinaikos wanted to continue but when you enter the changing rooms twice and you go back, it's too hard," he added.

"It's tragic, I can not explain it. Getting into the stadium, chasing the players... I have no words."

The first trouble broke out minutes into the game, forcing an eight-minute stoppage.

More violence followed after Olympiakos went ahead through Miguel Angel Guerrero in the 53rd minute.

Riot police attempted to contain the disorder with tear gas but as the gas started to affect the players, referee Marco Fritz called the game off.

Panathinaikos are expected to be punished with a points deduction and fine.

Tear gas was used on the crowd
Riot police used tear gas to try to control the fans
Fans escape tear gas
Fans in the stadium had to flee tear gas
Fans climb a fence
Supporters climbed fences to escape the violence
Fans with flares in the stadium
Some supporters with flares lit fires in the stadium

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