PAOK docked three points over Olympiakos coach injury


Athens (AFP) – PAOK Thessaloniki were deducted three points by the Greek Super League on Monday after last month’s clash with Olympiakos was postponed when visiting coach Oscar Garcia was hit by an object thrown from the stands.

The February 25 match was awarded 3-0 in favour of Olympiakos while PAOK were fined 30,000 euros ($37,000)and must play their next two home matches behind closed doors, including one against leaders AEK Athens.

The points deduction delivers a hammer blow to PAOK’s title hopes, dropping the club to third in the table on 49 points with Olympiakos replacing them in second on 50 points, four behind AEK.

The Thessaloniki club are expected to appeal the decision.

The game between PAOK, then in first place, and Olympiakos was called off before kick-off after Garcia had to be taken to hospital with a facial injury suffered when hit by a cashier’s paper roll.

Spaniard Garcia spent the night at a heavily-guarded hospital and was released the next morning after being diagnosed by a neurologist with sensitivity to the left temporal joint, dizziness, neck pain and nausea.

Greek media reports said the 27-year-old PAOK supporter charged with throwing the object had previously been arrested three times for incidents related to sports violence, the first when he was a minor.

Police described the suspect as “particularly dangerous”.

The incident prompted the Olympiakos team to leave the pitch in protest before riots erupted outside the ground.

Angry PAOK fans leaving the stadium clashed with police who used tear gas to quell the violence.

Police made two arrests and three police officers were injured as the fans set fire to rubbish bins and damaged parked cars.

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