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UEFA express Conference League final concerns over after Greek footballing tragedy leaves man dead

The European footballing governing body are set for crunch talks after the incident

Footballing body UEFA have expressed concerns over the UEFA Conference League final being held in Athens after a fan was killed in a clash between ultras last week.

Opap Arena, home to AEK Athens, is due to host the tournament showpiece at the end of the season. However, it was the scene of an altogether more disturbing clash on Monday, which saw AEK fans fight with Dinamo Zagreb ultras, leaving one man dead.

Initially believed to be a random attack, later footage questioned this, with videos on Twitter appearing to show groups of fans gathering together with weapons ahead of pre-meditated action.

It left a Greek fan, Michalis Katsouris aged 29, dead and over 100 Croatian fans appearing in court over gang-related charges, while the game was swiftly cancelled as a result of the violence.

Ten more people were injured, of which four remained hospitalised on Sunday night.

According to the Daily Mail, the charges include ‘assault and illegal possession and use of explosive material’, with flares and petrol bombs having been thrown in the fracas.

Meanwhile, Greek journalists have also accused AEK Athens owner Dimitris Melissanidis of threatening them over their comments about AEK Athens, including criticism of the accessibility of the stadium for Police.

According to Lefteris Charalampopoulos of IN.GR, ‘I received a call from a private number from someone claiming to be Dimitris Melissanidis’ who reportedly threatened: ‘I’ve already ordered the box with your dimensions, I’ve got it here and I’m keeping it so you don’t have expenses…I’ll have everyone chasing you’.

The Greek capital is due to host the Super Cup final between Manchester City and Sevilla on Wednesday night.

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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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