Panathinaikos v PAOK: Vladimir Ivic struck as Greek play-off abandoned
Four red cards, a mass brawl and a manager struck on the head by a bottle – little wonder then that Panathinaikos v PAOK Salonika was abandoned.
Panathinaikos led 1-0 in a play-off to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.
On 55 minutes, with the sides each down to 10 men, a melee saw two more sent off.
Moments later, PAOK coach Vladimir Ivic fell to the ground after being hit by a bottle thrown by a fan and the game was halted before being abandoned.
The 40-year-old was struck on the right side of the head and received treatment in the dressing room at Stadio Apostolos Nikolaidis in Athens before having stitches in hospital.
After close to an hour’s suspension, referee Giorgos Kominos abandoned the match.
“The natural and moral perpetrators… will be hunted with all the means of redress,” PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis said in a statement.
PAOK, Panathinaikos, AEK Athens and Panionios, are in a round-robin play-off to determine who joins league winners Olympiakos in the Champions League.
Panathinaikos’ Odisseas Vlachodimos saw red after 20 minutes with his side a goal up but Amr Ward picked up two yellow cards in four second-half minutes to even up the numbers.
Three minutes later, ex-Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele was kicked by PAOK’s Jose Angel Crespo, who then grabbed Steele’s team-mate Marcus Berg by the throat and threw him to the floor.
This led to pushing and shoving by several players, prompting red cards for Panathinaikos’ Mali defender Ousmane Coulibaly and PAOK’s Ukraine midfielder Yevhen Shakhov.