Injuries, arrests at a ‘friendly’ game in Serres

Ten people were injured and six arrested as the «friendly» match between Panserraikos and PAOK in Serres, northern Greece, on Saturday was stopped after just 15 minutes due to crowd trouble between the rival sets of fans. In the past, the two clubs played friendly games almost every summer, but now that both teams belong to the top flight after 16 years, things were very different. Traveling PAOK fans tried to push their way into the stands of the local fans, triggering a war of anything on hand that could be used as missiles. The police could not control the situation due to their small numbers. The referee halted the match as about 1,000 peaceful fans were forced to run onto the turf to avoid the clashes. The riot then spilled outside the stadium, with street fights mostly between PAOK fans and the police. There was damage reported in various parts of the Macedonian city. Those injured included a woman who tried to protect her son from the stones flying on both sides. Two people required hospital treatment, according to local police. Hardly anyone would have expected such a turn of events; last week PAOK played another friendly in the city of Katerini with local side Pierikos with no problems reported whatsoever.