AEK Athens’ Champions League defeat to Ajax in the Greek capital was marred by violent scenes before kick-off.
The away fans came under attack as home supporters threw flares into the stands. Social media footage also appeared to show a home fan throwing a ‘Molotov cocktail’ – an improvised petrol bomb – towards Ajax supporters.
Shocking photos from the game also showed police officers hitting Ajax fans, many of whom were pictured caked in blood. The Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt ran over to the visiting fans at one point, in an attempt to play the role of peacemaker.
There was then further crowd disturbance, with several firecrackers set off at the start of the second half, with the smoke affecting players on both sides. No arrests or injuries were immediately reported.
Police also clashed with mostly Greek fans in central Athens earlier in the day. Rival supporters were involved in the violence near the city’s police headquarters. Traffic was blocked after youths hurled petrol bombs at rival supporters and police.
The trouble comes just three days after the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Argentinian rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate was postponed because of fan violence.
Ajax won the match 2-0, with Dusan Tadic scoring from a penalty in the 68th minute and adding a second goal four minutes later as the Dutch side secured their place in the last 16. Marko Livaja was sent off for AEK, who can not qualify for the Europa League knockout rounds after losing all five of their group games.
Courtesy: The Guardian