Soccer fan’s flare hits sleeping boy’s chair

A 14-year-old school student had a narrow escape early yesterday when a flare fired by a protesting soccer fan in Thessaloniki broke through a glass balcony door and imbedded itself in an armchair in which he was sleeping, setting it alight. The boy’s father, Evangelos Syrmis, 45, managed to put out the blaze before the apartment caught fire, police said. The incident occurred at about 1 a.m. yesterday when the flare was fired by fans of the Aris soccer club who were staging a protest at the club’s offices at Thessaloniki’s Harilaou Stadium. The few dozen protesters were demanding that the team’s owner be replaced, claiming that he was not paying players. They dispersed at midday. Aris later lost 1-5 to Olympiakos in the last game of the season, giving the Piraeus team its sixth consecutive league title.