A European Football Association (UEFA) Champions League Qualifier has been postponed after angry supporters engaged in serious armed clashes. Dozens of fans clashed with each other in a “stabbing” that resulted in casualties.
The Daily Star, a British media outlet, reported on Aug. 8 (KST), “The first leg of the Champions League third qualifying round between AEK Athens and Dinamo Zagreb, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday night, has been postponed. One fan was stabbed to death and dozens arrested as supporters of both teams engaged in violence,” the Daily Star reported.
The match was originally scheduled to take place at 3:45 a.m. on Sept. 9 at the OPAP Arena in Athens, Greece, but one of the most devastating events of the season took place before kickoff. Hours before kickoff, polarized supporters of both clubs clashed outside the stadium. Around 100 Dinamo Zagreb fans showed up near the stadium and clashed with AEK Athens fans who were already there. The two sides fought violently, throwing stones and fireworks.
In the process, one AEK fan was stabbed to death. The victim, identified as a 29-year-old man, was taken to the hospital after being stabbed, but later died. According to Euronews, the incident left one person dead and eight others seriously injured. Local police made a total of 96 emergency arrests.
Ultimately, UEFA decided to postpone the match. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the horrific events in Athens that have claimed one life,” UEFA said, adding: “While expressing our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, AEK Athens FC and their fans, we reiterate that violence has no place in our sport. We hope that those responsible for this horrific act will be arrested and brought to justice as soon as possible.”
In the end, Game 1 was postponed. Instead, the second leg, which was originally scheduled to take place on August 15 at 3pm at Dinamo Zagreb’s home, will take place as scheduled. The postponed first leg is expected to be played on August 18 or 19. UEFA is in talks with both clubs to reschedule the match. 스포츠토토