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19 Mar, 2012 06:36

Greek football riot: Rampaging fans torch stadium (VIDEO)

Bedlam erupted at a Greek football match as fans brawled with police before setting the stadium ablaze. Some 57 people were detained and nine police officers were wounded in the chaos.

Hooded individuals started to clash with police officers even before the game between FC Olympiakos and FC Panathinaikos started, as several hundred youths attempted to infiltrate the stadium without tickets. The conflict continued throughout the match, and its second half was delayed by 35 minutes.In accordance with Greek Football League policies intended to prevent violence, no Olympiakos fans are allowed to attend games at Olympic Stadium. But the hometown crowd easily found a new enemy in the local police. Fans came to watch the game with clubs, metal rods, flares, and fire bombs made from gasoline and liquid ammonia. Their diverse and deadly arsenal was used in severe brawls with riot police at the stadium.The football field was bombarded with various objects throughout the game. When firebombs were added to the hail of projectiles, referee Tassos Kakos called off the game, with Olympiakos, leading 1-0.After the game was stopped fans went completely nuts, setting rows of seats on fire before igniting the stadium’s electronic scoreboard.. Fire trucks had to enter via the stadium's track to extinguish the fires.  However, the firefighters were also attacked by fans, so trucks with water cannons were used instead.Police pushed the rioters out of the stadium, with the clashes continuing outside.  While 57 people were detained, 37 were later released. Nine police officers were injured in the fracas, two of them seriously. According to Greek Football League rules, Panathinaikos could be docked points and face fines up to €180,000.  And in stark contrast to the contentious match, the club might have to play several games in front of an empty stadium.