SPORTS

Panathinaikos gets two-game supporter ban

Defending champions Panathinaikos will play their next two home games behind closed doors, following a sports tribunal ruling yesterday over crowd trouble last weekend in the club’s 1-0 win over Olympiakos. Panathinaikos has the right to appeal the decision. Seats were ripped up and firecrackers, Molotov cocktails and smoke bombs thrown onto the pitch. There were also attacks on the police before and during the encounter, from which visiting fans had been barred. With five rounds of play remaining, Panathinaikos leads the standings one point ahead of second-placed AEK, and three ahead of third-placed Olympiakos. In effect, yesterday’s penalty means that Panathinaikos will be deprived of home-ground support in its remaining two home matches, against Halkidona and AEK in a potentially decisive match two rounds from the final. Panathinaikos is the league’s second major club to be struck by a fan ban this year. Olympiakos has served two penalties of two and four games each for trouble by its supporters. In last Sunday’s encounter between the two archrivals, the referee needed to halt play when Olympiakos defender Grigoris Georgatos was showered with objects as he attempted to take a corner. (Kathimerini, Reuters)