A Greek football fan was murdered on Monday night by soccer hooligans ahead of a game scheduled for Tuesday between Athens-based team AEK and visiting Dinamo Zagreb from Croatia.
The young man, aged 22, succumbed to numerous stab wounds that were inflicted during a clash involving dozens of supporters from opposing factions. His identity has not been announced but he has been named as Michalis by at least one AEK fan page on Twitter.
This altercation occurred a day prior to the UEFA Champions League third-qualifying-round match at AEK’s stadium, situated in the Nea Filadelfia suburb of Athens. The match has now been postponed.
At least one eyewitness account has described hundreds of football hooligans descending on the area. At least eight individuals – both Greeks and Croats – have received medical attention for their injuries while law enforcement authorities apprehended a total of ninety-eight individuals.
— World Source News 24/7 (@Worldsource24) August 8, 2023
Greek football fan murdered during altercation
“About 10 pm, I had the shop half full and someone came and alerted me,” the shopowner said. “A person from AEK came and said that the Croats are going to descend. He told me little by little to chase people away.”
“After 10 minutes they started setting fires,” he continued. He claimed that around two to three hundred people began breaking everything in sight and that as the store began emptying, chairs were thrown at around twenty to thirty AEK fans.
“They had wild moods…They hit everywhere, whatever they could find,” the eyewitness added. “The event lasted half an hour…they had clubs, they were organized.” Regarding the murdered man, he further stated that “they found him with knives and carried him away covered in blood.” He also saw a badly hurt Croatian fan covered in blood just in front of his shop.
VIDEO της επιδρομής των οπαδών της Ντίναμο Ζάγκρεμπ στη Νέα Φιλαδέλφεια pic.twitter.com/GeYpPh4RnG
— Marka2‼️ (@Marka2free) August 7, 2023
Arrests and details of criminal activity
Ninety-eight individuals were apprehended by the police, with eighty-eight of them being held at GADA (Athens Police Headquarters), and eight, who sustained injuries, are currently under the care of the Red Cross. The detained individuals comprise eighty-two Croats, one Austrian, one Bosnian, one Albanian, one German, and two Greeks. Of those arrested, several Greeks and Croats are currently hospitalized for injuries.
According to Greek media reports, a well-coordinated group of around 150 to 200 Dinamo supporters managed to enter Greece by road despite the prohibition on fan movement from Croatia. Their purpose was to attend today’s match between Dinamo and AEK at the OPAP Arena.
22 year old Michalis, killed for the crime of supporting his football club.
Last night, AEK fan Michalis was stabbed by a Zagreb thug after an attack by 200 of their fans in Athens.
He died from his wound in hospital.
May you rest in peace, Michalis 💛🖤 pic.twitter.com/4wKtqDCvJ4
— AEK Insider (@AEKINSIDER) August 8, 2023
The Croatian fans seemed to have executed a premeditated strategy. Upon reaching Attiki Odos, they dispersed their vehicles, with a significant portion making their way to the ISAP Irini station. There, they rendezvoused with PAO (Panathinaikos) supporters, jointly boarded a train, disembarked at Pefkakia station, and proceeded to Nea Filadelfia.
Their actions resulted in substantial destruction, including vandalism to various shops and vehicles. The Croatian supporters ignited refuse containers and dry branches near an open parking area, causing fires, and also vandalized car windshields.
According to a statement issued by ELAS, “A preliminary investigation is being carried out by the Attica Security Directorate, while the investigation to identify additional perpetrators and any other aspect of the case continues intensively.”