SPORTS

The till roll that may cost PAOK the title

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

The eagerly anticipated top-of-the-table clash between PAOK and Olympiakos was not played on Sunday as a till roll hurled from the stands hit Olympiakos coach Oscar Garcia before kick-off. The penalty to be imposed on PAOK may cost it the title.

League leader PAOK went into the match at Toumba with a two-point advantage over AEK and a nine-point lead over Olympiakos. A win at home would have effectively ruled the Reds out of the title race and made the Thessaloniki giant a hot favorite for the first league crown since 1985.

However the till roll that someone threw from the stands and hit Oscar Garcia on the face changed all that. The Spanish manager was immediately examined by the stadium doctor and was rushed to hospital for a head scan, reportedly feeling dizzy. He will spent Sunday night in hospital.

The referee decided against starting the game and the league rules dictate that if a club’s supporters are responsible for the injury to anyone who is legitimately on the pitch, the club loses the match 3-0, has three points docked, faces a fine between 6,000 and 80,000 euros and must play two or three home games without fans.

Should PAOK be found guilty of such a violation, AEK becomes the leader of the Super League, even if it does not beat Atromitos in its away game at Peristeri on Monday.

In the rest of the weekend’s action, there were just six goals in six games, with Panathinaikos scoring a second win in a row for the first time this season, downing Lamia 2-0 at home, goals coming from Anthony Mounier and Emanuel Insua.

Panathinaikos is now seventh, behind Panionios that drew 0-0 at home with Asteras Tripolis, and Xanthi that saw off Apollon Smyrnis 2-0.

In other games Panetolikos downed Kerkyra 1-0, PAS Giannina drew 0-0 with Levadiakos, and Larissa, with new manager Ratko Dostanic on the bench, beat bottom team Platanias 1-0.

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