The PAOK-Olympiacos Greek Cup semi-final was abandoned at the 86th minute as PAOK fans stormed the pitch, enraged over the referee’s decision to overlook a penalty against Olympiacos.
With Super League champions Olympiacos leading 2-1 in the 86th minute at the Toumba stadium in Thessaloniki, PAOK were denied what looked like a penalty when Slovakia midfielder Robert Mak was felled by visiting goalie Stefanos Kapino.
The PAOK player went to the assistant referee to protest and reportedly spat at him. Referee Andreas Pappas gave him the red card. After that, PAOK fans started hurling flares at the pitch and some of them invaded the field.
The referee withdrew the two teams as riot police intervened to clear the pitch. After a few skirmishes on the field, order was restored temporarily.
According to regulation, referee Andreas Pappas should have stopped the game right there. Nevertheless, against regulations, the referee brought the teams out about 15 minutes after the interruption in order to play the remaining time. A new invasion forced the referee to abandon the game altogether.
Angry fans invaded the field again, clashing with riot police. At the same time, they set four fires at the stands, burning dozens of seats.
During the 59th minute, when the score was 1-2, a full water cup hit Olympiakos coach Marco Silva in the back. Pappas stopped the game and issued a warning. According to regulations, he should have abandoned the game there.
PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis spoke to reporters afterwards saying that his club will not play the second leg of the semi-final unless the game is replayed with a foreign referee. He also called for the resignation of Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) president Giorgos Girtzikis and spoke of corruption in Greece’s football.
“We will not come to Athens to play the second leg, whatever the punishment, my position will not change; PAOK’s position on this will not change even if they throw us out of the Super League,” he said.
PAOK can expect a severe punishment.