Dozens of hooligans who were fans of PAOK Thessaloniki invaded the field and stopped the match against their city rivals Aris on Sunday at Toumba Stadium.
The ugly face of hooliganism resurfaced again in Greece after the match was suspended in injury time as the visiting team, Aris was leading 1-0. Hooligans then stormed onto the pitch, throwing firecrackers, bottles, plastic seats, and other objects toward the riot police.
PAOK players tried in vain to stop the invasion of the field, as the referee and the visiting team rushed to their dressing rooms. Chaos ensued as the police made a number of arrests. Most of the home crowd deserted the Toumba station in disgust at the behavior of the hooligans.
After more than 40 minutes, the teams returned to the pitch to play the remaining 3 minutes of the clash. Nothing changed, and Aris celebrated a well-deserved victory against their Thessaloniki rivals.
Hooligans tarnish Greek football
Hooliganism and crowd violence have been endemic in Greek football in the last decades.
PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis appeared to walk onto the field armed with a handgun amid chaotic scenes towards the end of the clash at Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki.
The match itself was abandoned after trouble following a referee’s decision to rule a 90th-minute PAOK goal offside.