Football Football

Greek match postponed after coach injured by toilet roll

Toilet roll stops play: Olympiakos’ Spanish coach Oscar Garcia reacts after being hit in the face by a toilet roll thrown by a PAOK fan prior to the Greek Super League match in Thessaloniki on Sunday. The match was postponed © AFP / SAKIS MITROLIDIS

THESSALONIKI, Greece, Feb 26Sunday’s Greek Super League derby between PAOK Thessaloniki and Olympiakos was called off after Olympiakos coach Oscar Garcia was struck in the face by a toilet roll thrown by a spectator minutes before kick-off.

Garcia left Toumba Stadium for a local hospital to seek treatment for a bloodied lip.

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

“I took my team and left. Goodbye,” angry Olympiakos vice-president and general director Savvas Theodoridis told referee Alexandros Aretopoulos.

However, PAOK communications director Kyriakos Kyriakos said: “It was obvious that Olympiakos came here with that goal (to suspend the match). They have been provoking for 30 years now. They came to scream and to provoke.”

Raining rolls: PAOK’s supporters throw toilet rolls and other objects onto the pitch © AFP / SAKIS MITROLIDIS

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

PAOK are the league leaders and have a nine-point advantage over third-place Olympiakos who have won the last seven straight league titles.

Aretopoulos was finishing his report with the match most likely to be officially suspended leading to a possible heavy punishment for PAOK, which may include a loss of points as well as a fine.