SPORTS

Trouble makes quick return

Just days after fan violence marred a Greek top-league soccer match between AEK and Panathinaikos, the culprits were at it again yesterday, this time ruining an encounter between host Larissa and PAOK, which the visiting side won 2-1. At least 30 people suffered minor injuries when hundreds of fans from both sides fought in the stands of Larissa’s Alkazar Stadium, hurling rocks and flares at each other and tearing up seats. Police used tear gas to disperse the rioting supporters, forcing the referee to suspend the match for 25 minutes. Clashes between the rival supporters also broke out outside the stadium after the match. No arrests were reported. Fifteen years ago, a fan was killed at a game played by the same teams in the same stadium. Responding to yesterday’s trouble, Public Order Minister Vyronas Polydoras and the head of the Greek police, Anastassios Dimoschakis, both called for stricter measures against hooliganism. The win put PAOK in equal fifth place, on 12 points, along with Larissa and Kerkyra. On Saturday, front-runner Olympiakos rebounded from poor morale following back-to-back defeats – in domestic competition and the Champions League – to overcome visiting Cretan club Ergotelis, 1-0, for a six-point lead in the Super League. Second-place AEK beat Apollon Kalamaria, also 1-0, in Saturday’s other game. Olympiakos has accumulated 21 points from eight games in the Greek Super League but is struggling, for yet another season, in the Champions League. With just one point from four games in Group D, Olympiakos is greeted by AS Roma tomorrow night. Brazilian midfielder Rivaldo scored Olympiakos’s solitary goal against Ergotelis in the 58th minute. Rivaldo almost scored in spectacular fashion after just two minutes when his long-range lob forced a fingertip save by Ergotelis’s Hungarian goalkeeper Zsolt Posza. Olympiakos posed a constant threat in attack with Uruguayan forward Nery Castillo and Cyprus striker Michalis Constantinou missing chances. Aegaleo defeated struggling Xanthi, 1-0, yesterday, to move up to second place with AEK, on 15 points. Panathinaikos, on 13 points, played later last night, away against last-place Iraklis, in round eight’s remaining game. In other games, it was: Ionikos-Atromitos, 1-4; Kerkyra-Panionios, 0-1; OFI-Aris, 1-0. (Kathimerini, AP)