Greek football goes behind closed doors, Turkish Süper Lig suspended

Featured image credit: Erik Drost/CC BY 2.0 DEED/Edited for size

Featured image credit: Erik Drost/CC BY 2.0 DEED/Edited for size

Top-tier Greek football matches will be played behind closed doors for two months after a police officer was left with serious injuries following a fan attack at a volleyball game, while Turkish Süper Lig fixtures have been suspended after a referee was attacked by Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca yesterday (Monday).

The attack on the police officer took place during a volleyball match between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, who are owned by the football teams of the same name. The police officer was hit by a flare thrown by a supporter and is being treated in hospital.

Super League football matches were postponed at the weekend following the incident, and the Greek government has now taken further action by banning fans from attending games.

Government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis has condemned the attacks and confirmed that all top-tier Super League 1 matches will take place without fans until February 12, 2024. The measure will be extended to home games of second-tier B teams that are owned by top-tier clubs.

Olympiakos’ UEFA Europa League match against Batska Topola at Karaiskakis Stadium (pictured) on Thursday will be played without fans and the ban could extend to further European games.

When fans are allowed back in stadiums, HD cameras will be installed and an electronic entry system will be deployed to help with ID verification.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has announced that matches in all leagues have been postponed indefinitely after yesterday’s attack on referee Halil Umut Meler.

TV footage captured Ankaragucu president Koca storming the pitch at full-time to throw a punch at Meler. Ankaragucu had just drawn 1-1 at home against Rizespor, with the visitors scoring an equaliser in the 97th minute.

The TFF issued a statement strongly condemning the “inhumane and despicable” attack on the referee. A Turkish court has ordered the arrest of Koca, with two other suspects also remanded in custody.

Meler is a FIFA referee and also took charge of the UEFA Champions League match between Lazio and Celtic last month.