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Dirty Tackle

PAOK and Rapid Vienna fans have flare fight before Europa League match

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

Shortly before Thursday's Europa League match between PAOK and Rapid Vienna in Greece, the visiting Rapid fans came out of the stands and launched an attack on the home supporters that made the Toumbas Stadium resemble a warzone. The Rapid fans launched flares and fireworks into a stand filled with PAOK supporters like missiles and the PAOK fans who didn't flee the rain of fire retaliated with by launching flares and fireworks of their own back down at their aggressors.

The result was a violent, unscheduled pyrotechnics show that riot police struggled to contain. According to the AP, the incident passed without any arrests or injuries and the match was somehow allowed to be played after a short delay. PAOK went on to win 2-1 with the decisive goal coming in the 83rd minute.

UPDATE: Rapid Vienna have released a statement detailing the assault their supporters faced outside the stadium. From Reuters:

"Some supporters of the host club welcomed the Rapid supporters (and officials and players) with almost unimaginable hatred," Rapid said in a statement.

Rapid added that their supporters were attacked in the city centre before the game but the real trouble started when 14 busloads of their fans arrived at the stadium.

"Bricks, pyrotechnic objects and benches were thrown and even two Molotov cocktails, which detonated a few metres from the bus and blew a crater in the asphalt," they said, adding that stones were also thrown and police used teargas.

It seems likely that both clubs will be subjected to punishments from UEFA.

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