March 18, 2011
Greek football continued winning in the increasingly sad, depraved and played out Charlie Sheen sense on Wednesday during the Greek Cup semifinal second leg match between PAOK and AEK Athens. In the 58th minute of the match, which PAOK lost 1-0, AEK goalkeeper Sebastian Saja took a direct hit by a flare thrown from behind his goal. Not only did it give him an unwanted shock, but it burned a nasty hole in the side of his shirt.
Saja wasn't hurt by the impressive flare toss, which proved to be just the prelude to PAOK fans' angry, pitch-invading flare attacks. From Reuters:
Then, with barely a minute remaining, dozens of PAOK fans invaded the pitch and started clashing with riot police. TV cameras were also attacked as AEK players and the referee ran off the pitch.
Play was suspended for 20 minutes before the referee returned to blow the final whistle. No stoppage time was played.
The incident was the fifth pitch invasion of a season plagued by violence inside and outside Greek stadiums.
In February, Olympiakos fans turned the derby of eternal enemies into the "derby of shame" with fireballs on the pitch and attacks on Panathinaikos players. Perhaps it's time to start building fences around the pitch and stop letting fans bring missiles into the grounds.
Here's video of the PAOK pitch invaders attacking the fleeing teams with more flares...