Government suspends Greek Cup

AFP – Greece’s government on Thursday postponed indefinitely upcoming Greek Cup matches after crowd trouble forced Wednesday’s semi-final first leg between PAOK and holder Olympiakos to be abandoned.

Government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili made the announcement just two hours before AEK and Atromitos were due to meet in Athens in the other semi-final.

No further details about when the matches would be rescheduled were provided, although Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis is expected to make an announcement later on Thursday.

Earlier, PAOK had announced that it would not travel to Piraeus for the second leg of its tie with Olympiakos unless a foreign referee was appointed.

On Wednesday with Olympiakos 2-1 ahead in the 89th minute, referee Andreas Pappas stopped the contest at Toumba Stadium when PAOK fans invaded the pitch and dozens of flares and smoke bombs were thrown from the stands.

Riot-trained police turned back the hooligans, but there had already been trouble before kick-off as three arrests were made after PAOK supporters fought with police outside the stadium.

Olympiakos coach Marco Silva was also struck in the back by a plastic cup during the second half, and the Athens-based club, who won their 43rd league title last weekend, will most likely be awarded the match 3-0.

PAOK face a heavy fine as well as the possibility of being forced to play matches behind closed doors.

Last year, Kontonis suspended Greek Super League matches following violence between rival sets of supporters.

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