UEFA chief Ceferin to travel to Greece for talks with PM after deadly fan violence

UEFA chief Ceferin to travel to Greece for talks with PM after deadly fan violence

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin will visit Greece next week to meet with the country’s prime minister in the wake of an attack in Athens by Croatian fans that left one man dead.

Ceferin will meet on August 16 with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Representatives of the country’s four major clubs – AEK Athens, Olympiakos, PAOK and Panathinaikos – as well as government sporting officials have been invited to attend the discussions, government officials said.

A Champions League qualifier between AEK and Dinamo Zagreb was called off Tuesday after scores of Croatian supporters wielding wooden clubs and metal bats attacked bystanders outside AEK’s Opap Arena.

One AEK fan, 29 year-old Michalis Katsouris, died at the scene from a stab wound, while 10 others were injured.

More than 100 people were arrested – mostly Dinamo fans – and have been charged with murder, membership of a criminal gang and other offenses.

On Friday, clashes broke out in front of court buildings in Athens where the arrested fans were giving evidence related to the deadly violence.

Some 200 fans of AEK gathered outside the court complex, some hurling bottles of water and other objects at police and television crews.

No arrests or injuries were reported.

A funeral service for Katsouris is due to be held later Friday at his hometown of Elefsina, 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Athens. Local authorities suspended several public events ahead of the service in a sign of mourning.

Elefsina is one of three European Union towns and cities, along with Timisoara in Romania and Veszprem in Hungary, awarded the status of European Cultural Capital for 2023.

Police are continuing to conduct searches in Athens and at border and transit points, looking for Croatian fans believed to have escaped arrest. [AP]

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