PAOK’s feud with Greek record-champions Olympiakos is one of the fiercest in the country. To make sure we all remember this, the PAOK fans went all-out prior to the rivals’ Greek Cup tie this week.
First, the home supporters formed a giant ‘ring of fire’ by lighting hundreds of flares in every section of the Toumba Stadium. The impressive yet frightening display delayed the start of the match due to the thick smoke taking several minutes to clear.
But the PAOK fans didn’t stop there. In fact, things got really weird. Or should we say, fishy. Believe it or not, one troublemaker then made it his mission to dump a crate of anchovies all over the Olympiakos bench.
Why anchovies? Since, Olympiakos’ home ground is in Athens’ port of Piraeus, their supporters were kindly nicknamed “anchovies.”
The salty fish might make for nice pizza toppings, but seat covers… not so much. Here’s proof of the incident (the culprit was later arrested):
(Image via Greek Reporter)
After this second act of mischief, the referee ordered a clean-up operation and directed both teams back to the dressing room until he was guaranteed by PAOK’s security team that it was safe for them to return. The delays took over an hour, and once the game finally did start, tempers didn’t simmer down any.
Multiple fights and skirmishes broke out throughout the match, both on and off the pitch, with three players shown red cards and flares thrown onto the field, causing continuous, intermittent stoppages in play. The second half alone needed 15 minutes of stoppage time to compensate for all the commotion.
And after all of that, PAOK moved on to the Greek Cup final thanks to a 1-0 win.