Volleyball on guard

Greek volleyball is holding its collective breath as giants Panathinaikos and Olympiakos clash tonight in the first quarterfinal leg of the CEV Cup, Europe’s second-tier club competition. Following the riots in Patras that forced the postponement of the Greek Cup final 10 days ago, which had brought the same two teams together, Panathinaikos will be hosting Olympiakos in Glyfada at 6 p.m., in front of home fans only and with a strong police presence. The Hellenic Volleyball Federation has drawn attention to the European Confederation’s threat of a three-year ban on teams causing riots and has vowed to do all it can to prevent any incidents in this tie. The return leg is in Piraeus next week. Also today, for the Challenge Cup, EA Patras hosts Turkish side Galatasaray, while in the women’s version of the same cup, two Greek teams face off for a spot in the final four, as Markopoulo entertains favorite Panathinaikos. Finally tomorrow evening champion Iraklis travels to Portugal to face Vitoria in the men’s Champions League, with the return leg scheduled for Thessaloniki next week.

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