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Panathinaikos punished for violence by supporters

Panathinaikos have been deducted three points by the Greek Super League for fan violence during Sunday`s 2-1 win over league leaders Olympiakos which led to the postponement of league matches this weekend by the government.

Panathinaikos punished for violence by supporters

Athens: Panathinaikos have been deducted three points by the Greek Super League for fan violence during Sunday`s 2-1 win over league leaders Olympiakos which led to the postponement of league matches this weekend by the government.

In addition, the Athens club were fined 100,000 euros and must play their next two home matches behind closed doors.

The deduction, which was annoynced late Thursday,means that Panathinaikos are now six points behind Olympiakos with nine matches remaining in the season.

"The decision saddens us and is unfair. Per aspera ad astra (a Latin phrase meaning through hardships to the stars," Panathinaikos said in a statement.

Panathinaikos claim that the trouble on Sunday was instigated by the appearance on the pitch of Olympiakos president Evangelos Marinakis and comments made by Olympiakos coach Vitor Pereira before the derby game.

The Athens club had warned Marinakis not to appear on the pitch.

On Tuesday, officials from the two clubs clashed at a meeting of the Super League intended to bring the two sides together.

Fans invaded the pitch during Sunday`s game, firing flares and hurling seats and other missiles.

Before the so-called "derby of the eternal enemies", flares, firecrackers and stones were thrown at Marinakis. He was not hurt.

Just before the start of the second half, a flare hurled by a spectator hit Olympiakos` Swiss midfielder Pajtim Kasami on the shoulder.

A chair was thrown at Pereira, narrowly missing him. About 50 Panathinaikos fans then ran onto the pitch to chase him away.

Riot police fired tear gas to restore order in the ground. Two people were slightly injured during the scuffles which lasted five minutes, media reports said.

Greek football has long been marred by violence. In September matches were halted after a supporter from Ethnikos was killed in Crete during a third division match. In November a referee was attacked and hospitalized.

From Zee News

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