Fan’s death mars soccer games

The weekend’s soccer action, which saw Olympiakos maintain a big lead at the top of the Super League, was overshadowed by the death of an Iraklis fan amid crowd disturbances at the end of his team’s game against AEK in Thessaloniki on Saturday. Police said that 57-year-old Sotiris Seraphim died of heart failure at the end of the match, when dozens of rival supporters rushed onto the running track next to the pitch. There was no indication that the retired firefighter and former goalkeeper was involved in any violence. Authorities said that Seraphim had suffered heart problems in the past and that paramedics’ efforts to revive him on Saturday failed. Iraklis issued a statement criticizing police for their poor presence at the match. With the final whistle, dozens of AEK fans rushed onto the track to congratulate the team, but home supporters went to confront them. Riot police were forced to separate the two groups of fans. A 20-year-old was arrested before the match after attempting to enter the ground with 61 smoke bombs and nine flares. AEK won the match 1-0 to give coach Dusan Bajevic his first away win since returning to the club earlier this season. The win leaves AEK in fourth place with 31 points after 18 games. The top three remain unchanged after they all notched up wins. Leader Olympiakos won 1-0 at bottom club Panserraikos on Saturday, thanks to a goal from Vassilis Torosidis, and moved to 45 points. Panathinaikos and PAOK are joint-second with 36 points. The Greens thrashed Aris 4-0 at the Olympic Stadium yesterday, as PAOK disposed of Panthrakikos 2-0 in Thessaloniki. Asteras Tripolis climbed away from the relegation zone on Saturday with a 3-0 win over struggling Thrasyvoulos. As a result, OFI Crete remains in the bottom three despite a 2-0 home win over Panionios yesterday. In the other games, Levadiakos beat Ergotelis 4-0 and Xanthi drew 1-1 with Larissa.

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