Olympiacos keeper condemns crowd violence


Olympiacos goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez expressed his dismay at the actions of Panathinaikos supporters after violent clashes prior to kick-off saw Saturday's Greek derby abandoned.

The top-of-the-table Super League clash was called off before a ball could be kicked after home fans clashed with police at the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium in Athens.

Olympiacos players were also pelted with missiles as they came out for their pre-match warm-up, with reports claiming a flare exploded at the feet of striker Alfred Finnbogason.

The violence spilled out onto the streets after the match was officially called off by referee Andreas Pappas.

Speaking afterwards, a disappointed Roberto said via the club's official website: "Once again something happened that should not be happening. Something that has nothing to do with football and sports.

"This is the game that everyone wanted to see, a derby we all waited between two very good teams. And it happened because of some fanatics who do things that are beyond the normal range and should be banned.

"I find it very hard to believe, given everything going on around the world these days the noises we hear now from several firecrackers sound in a place where you see a sporting event."

Roberto added:  "We went out to walk and see how the stadium was. We did it with calmness because we thought that would be a more peaceful night. There were things like we expected.

"We feel deep respect for the players of Panathinaikos, the club of Panathinaikos fans of Panathinaikos. We came to play a football match and we leave very disappointed. We wanted to play. Both groups wanted to fight. We are very disappointed the game was cancelled because things happened that have nothing to do with football."