For not the first time this season, Greek football was dragged through the mire this weekend as the Salonika derby between Aris and PAOK was held up for 16 minutes just before halftime as the officials restored order from the rioting stands.
The players did little to temper the atmosphere in the early stages, with PAOK striker Zlatan Muslimovic and Aris’ Sanel Jahic caught clashing early doors in a childish push-and-shove affair.
And from there on matters just seemed to get worse.
In an incident similar to Didier Drogba’s coin toss, PAOK’s Sergio Conceicao then managed to get himself send off in the 38th minute after throwing an object back into the crowd. The veteran Portuguese winger lost his head as he was pelted by a barrage of missiles thrown from the home support as he attempted to take a corner, eventually losing his tether as chucking an object back in return.
Eventually the match was suspended in the 44th minute, the last straw for the officials being a fire-cracker exploding right next to PAOK keeper Konstantinos Chalkias. Referee Dimitris Kyrkos had little option but to force both sides into the locker room, as Aris club officials made their way over to the sections housing the offending supporters, pleading with them to curb their disruptive activities.
Eventually the match resumed, but the chaos continued to reign.
A host of videos captured the events.
Firstly, highlights of the match including all the major flash-points can be seen here.
Second, this video captures Sergio Conceicao’s red card incident and the winger’s angry reaction to his dismissal.
Lastly, footage of the moment when the match was interrupted can be seen here.