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Hot chocolates cause Greek Cup stir

A box of chocolates sent to PAOK soccer player Giorgos Tzavellas sparked a police investigation on Friday in a bizarre reflection of the tension surrounding Saturday's Greek Cup final between bitter rivals Panathinaikos and PAOK.

Greek international Tzavellas called police after a taxi driver brought a box to his hotel roon, saying it was a gift from a lady supporter of PAOK."

Only last week Tzavellas' cafe in the Athens suburb of Vironas was attacked with a firebomb causing minor damage shortly after PAOK eliminated Olympiakos in the semi-finals.

Police checked Friday's suspicious package and found the box only contained chocolates.

Heavy security measures were announced by Greek police on Thursday for Saturday's final Athens' Olympic Stadium.

Mass gatherings have been banned in central Athens and more than 4,000 police officers will be placed around the Greek capital and at the stadium.

The measures were taken with the approval of the government, the Greek soccer federation and the clubs coming after the violent semi-final second leg in Thessaloniki between PAOK and Olympiakos.

Some 22,000 PAOK supporters will arrive from the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki with hundreds of coaches that will be accompanied by a police escort.

At the stadium barbed wire fences have been placed in order to keep supporters from storming the pitch, a frequent event at Greek matches and which occurred during the 2010 final between Panathinaikos and Aris at the same venue.

Spectators arriving at the stadium will go through three controls and checked in order to confiscate objects such as flares which might be thrown on the pitch.

Panathinaikos and PAOK fans will enter the stadium from separate gates and under police protection.

[AFP]

ekathimerini.com , Saturday April 26, 2014 (00:42)  
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