Petrol bomb explodes amid bloody clashes ahead of Ajax vs AEK Athens

Petrol bomb explodes in the stands and Ajax fans are left injured as bloody clashes with police mar Champions League clash with AEK Athens

  • AEK Athens hosted Ajax in an early Champions League Group E clash on Tuesday
  • The build-up to the match was marred by violent clashes between supporters
  • Riot police were deployed as flares and other objects were thrown by home fans 
  • Ajax fans were also targeted by a petrol bomb which exploded inside ground

Daniel Matthews For Mailonline

Police dispersed AEK fans, who threw plastic bottles and other objects at visiting supporters.

No arrests were immediately reported but Ajax fans were also the target of flares thrown by AEK fans, with one seen brazenly launching a missile into the stands in plain view of riot police standing nearby.

He was then filmed running away from the scene as Ajax fans threw the firework away from danger and into an empty block of seats. 

The authorities managed to curb the disorder in time for kick-off, meaning the match went ahead as planned, though a series of firecrackers were heard exploding just after the start of the second half.

One visiting supporter was left with blood pouring down his face after clashes with police

One visiting supporter was left with blood pouring down his face after clashes with police

Ajax fans take cover in the wake of the shocking explosion ahead of kick-off on Tuesday night

Ajax fans take cover in the wake of the shocking explosion ahead of kick-off on Tuesday night

But earlier riot police had entered the away end, brandishing batons and shields and leaving a number of fans with blood pouring down his face.

As anarchy reigned before kick-off, even players tried to intervene to keep a lid on proceedings.  

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt was pictured over towards the away end to try and prevent further violence. Players from both sides were seen to be rubbing their eyes as smoke drifted across the Athens Olympic Stadium. 

Though they were surrounded by row upon row of empty seats, Ajax supporters could be seen crammed inside a small section of the stadium. 

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt tries to intervene as disorder broke out ahead of the match

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt tries to intervene as disorder broke out ahead of the match

Riot police, wearing helmets and carrying shields, entered the stands to confront Ajax fans

Riot police, wearing helmets and carrying shields, entered the stands to confront Ajax fans

Wire fences stood between them and the pitch, while glass barriers prevented them from escaping – even as they cowered from the explosion.

The shocking scenes follow reports on Monday night that Ajax fans had been involved in violence after arriving in Greece.

Police also clashed with mostly Greek fans in parts of central Athens earlier on Tuesday and late Monday. 

Rival Greek supporters were involved in the violence near the city’s police headquarters. Traffic was blocked after youths hurled petrol bombs at rival supporters and police. 

On the pitch, Ajax earned themselves a spot in the last 16 with a 2-0 win. AEK have lost all five of their group games.

The authorities try to keep a lid on the disturbances as smoke fills the air in the Greek capital

The authorities try to keep a lid on the disturbances as smoke fills the air in the Greek capital

The clashes did not prevent the Champions League Group E clash going ahead as planned

The clashes did not prevent the Champions League Group E clash going ahead as planned

 


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