AEK Athens is a Greek football club that can now say they have literally been chased off the pitch by their supporters. In a match on Sunday against Panathinaikos the AEK Athens Union gave up an own goal in the 87th minute that sent their supporters into a furious sprint onto the pitch.
Both teams immediately stormed off through the tunnel as the fans swarmed them at the exits near the benches. AEK supporters frustration may not have been solely based on the own goal as AEK is currently in position to be relegated for the first time in their 89-year history.
AEK is one of the most successful football clubs in all of Greece and has won 29 national titles, including 14 Greek Cups. As of right now, AEK is below the cut line in the Greece Super League with 30 points. Panathinaikos also has 30 points, but holds the tie-breaker over AEK.
The match was abandoned after a delay of about 90 minutes as at least 15 people were injured during the free-for-all. The day after the fan invasion, AEK’s President Andreas Dimitrelos was taken to the hospital due to chest pains, according to Yahoo Sports.
Yahoo Sports also noted that Panathinaikos goaltender Spiros Vrontaras and team manager Haris Mavromatis suffered facial injuries while retreating to the dressing rooms.
Here’s video of the incident if you missed AEK’s supporters charge the pitch Sunday:
If the embarrassment of having your own supporters run you down isn’t enough, AEK will also more than likely receive a point-reduction due to the fan violence in Sunday’s match. The deduction will make things much harder for the Union as they only have one match remaining.
The loss of points should push AEK out of contention to get above the cut line and practically bring their season to an immediate end. AEK supporters let out their frustration and may have sent AEK to the second division in the process.
The football anarchy didn’t end until 15 people were deemed injured while local police forced everyone off the pitch as they would with any sort of protest. AEK’s supporters may have got their point across to their struggling club, but it also may have cost AEK a chance at staying in Greece’s top league.
Does AEK Athens deserve to be penalized for their supporter’s outrage on Sunday?