Petrol bomb explodes in the stands and Ajax fans are left injured as bloody clashes with police mar Champions League clash with AEK Athens. The two sides met in a Group E match in Greece on Tuesday night but the build up to the game was marred by violence in the stands.
Riot police were deployed to deal with the trouble as a fire raged inside Greece’s Olympic stadium following a shocking explosion ahead of the early kick-off. Police dispersed AEK fans, who threw plastic bottles and other objects at visiting supporters. No arrests were immediately reported but Ajax fans were also the target of flares thrown by AEK fans, with one seen brazenly launching a missile into the stands in plain view of riot police standing nearby. He was then filmed running away from the scene as Ajax fans threw the firework away from danger and into an empty block of seats.
The authorities managed to curb the disorder in time for kick-off, meaning the match went ahead as planned, though a series of firecrackers were heard exploding just after the start of the second half. But earlier riot police had entered the away end, brandishing batons and shields and leaving a number of fans with blood pouring down his face. As anarchy reigned before kick-off, even players tried to intervene to keep a lid on proceedings. Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt was pictured over towards the away end to try and prevent further violence.
Players from both sides were seen to be rubbing their eyes as smoke drifted across the Athens Olympic Stadium. Though they were surrounded by row upon row of empty seats, Ajax supporters could be seen crammed inside a small section of the stadium. Wire fences stood between them and the pitch, while glass barriers prevented them from escaping even as they cowered from the explosion.
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