At least one fan was stabbed and eight police officers were reported injured in a series of fan clashes on Friday ahead of Saturday’s Greek Cup final between AEK and PAOK in Athens. The clashes were also said to have involved Olympiakos fans too.
On Friday morning some 70 PAOK fans gathered at Syntagma Square waving bats at the police that manage to have them dispersed toward Monastiraki Square.
Then early in the evening there were extensive clashes at various spots in Athens city center between fans of Olympiakos and those of PAOK at first and then with the police, as the Piraeus club’s supporters attempted to approach the PAOK fan club’s premises near Omonia Square. One fan was reported stabbed and three police officers injured near Karaiskaki Square.
There were also clashes reported between fans of AEK and PAOK, with some five police officers injured, while later in the night there were riots at Exarchia between AEK fans and others with the police that lasted until the early hours in the morning.
Police recorded that the hooligans were exceptionally well prepared for the clashes, bearing wooden sticks, Molotov cocktails, rocks, pieces of broken marble, and countless flares and bangers. Police officers responded with the extensive use of chemicals and with stun grenades.
The Cup final, that kicks off – if all goes well – at 8.30 p.m. on Saturday at the Olympic Stadium of Athens has caused the mobilization of 5,000 police officers, while some 17,000 PAOK fans are slowly making the trip from Thessaloniki to the capital all day on Saturday.