THE top of the table Athens derby clash between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos Piraeus was called off before kick-off on Saturday following violent scenes in and around the stadium with flares being thrown on to the pitch.
Scuffles between riot police and fans outside the ground made for a hostile atmosphere inside and, after a thrown flare exploded at the feet of striker Alfred Finnbogason, he and his Olympiakos’ team mates retreated to the dressing rooms.
The incident took place shortly after the visiting players came out to walk on the pitch.
Finnbogason was unharmed but Olympiakos then decided not to bring the players out for the warm-up and asked officials for the match to be called off.
Panathinaikos said the flare did not cause injury to anyone and asked for the match to go ahead but promised to abandon it if there were any further such incidents during the game.
But after an hour-long delay the match was officially called off.