AEK soccer club chief resigns

On a somewhat barren Super League weekend, with just 13 goals in eight games, the rise of Xanthi to the second spot on the table was overshadowed yesterday by serious rioting between Iraklis and PAOK fans and the resignation of Demis Nikolaidis as president of AEK. At least four Iraklis fans were injured, one of whom received serious burns during clashes in the streets of Thessaloniki before the derby with PAOK. These included the hurling of stones and Molotov cocktails, with the police using tear gas to disperse the aggressive crowd. After four-and-a-half years as president of AEK, Nikolaidis announced his resignation after the end of the game with Asteras Tripolis, during which AEK won 2-1 but fans shouted abuse at him, the coach, Giorgos Donis, and the players while Asteras was leading. Nikolaidis also said that his successor would be named this week. AEK staged an impressive late comeback with 10 men, reversing a 0-1 deficit in the last four minutes of the game, thanks to a header by Daniel Majstorovic and a rotating kick by Rafik Djebbour. Olympiakos had an easy 2-0 win over Ergotelis at home with first-half goals from Darko Kovacevic and Dudu Cearense, while Iraklis and PAOK shared a 1-1 draw. Xanthi took advantage of PAOK’s draw to move up to second with its 2-0 win over bottom side OFI Crete. Ten-man Panathinaikos needed a Yiannis Goumas header seven minutes from time to beat in-form Panionios 1-2 at Nea Smyrni. Bryce Moon received his marching orders at 0-1 for a second bookable offense. In the other games, it was: Aris 0, Larissa 0, Panthrakikos 1, Thrasyvoulos 0, and Levadiakos 0, Panserraikos 0. Olympiakos leads the standings with 19 points from eight games, Xanthi with 17 leapt over PAOK with 16, Panathinaikos is fourth with 14 and AEK follows with 13. Ergotelis and Larissa each have 12.