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Riot police forced to use tear gas to break up warring fans following referee farce in Greek Super League

Things continue to get ugly in Greece

Greek football continued to provide controversy as riot police were forced to use tear gas in a bid to break up warring factions of fans in the wake of yet another controversial refereeing performance.

Referees and EPO (Greek FA) head Steve Bennett have been in the spotlight for much of the season in Greece, with decision after decision being disputed by various clubs, and intervention from the Greek Prime Minister has not defused the situation.

This time, controversy surrounded referee Davide Massa, who has refereed across Europe’s top leagues this season and was put in charge of the massive clash between Olympiacos and AEK Athens.

And, though AEK eventually ran out 3-1 winners, there were as many as four massive errors that Olympiacos felt went against them.

Firstly, in the 13th minute, the hosts thought that a penalty should have been awarded for a push on Cedric Bakambu, only for nothing to be awarded.

Then, Damian Szymanski seemingly escaped a direct red card (or even a yellow) when he stepped on Mathieu Valbuena’s ankle

It led to Olympiacos, who are owned by Nottingham Forest boss Evangelos Marinakis, issuing yet another damning statement on the state of Greek football.

“Today, even the blind saw what is happening in Greek football”, they began.

“[Football’s] Fraudsters, hoodlums and outlaws have shown that they have no qualms. We told you that our fans’ patience is running out! They were very patient.

“They deemed a penalty in a challenge that had no contact. They didn’t even check with VAR when there was a clear foul before AEK’s goal.

“The whole of Greece was left disgusted. The hoodlums from EPO and the government’s incompetence to deal with them killed football!”

The fans were not happy, either, as fans of both sides invaded the pitch at the final whistle, and needed to be dispersed with tear gas by riot police in yet another unsavoury scene.

It left Olympiacos a massive nine points off top spot, and all but ended their chances of retaining their crown this season.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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