Athens, Nov 22 (IANS) The Greek league match between hosts Panathinaikos and arch-rivals Olympiakos had to be delayed after home fans clashed with police before the game and threw flares at Olympiakos players as they walked onto the pitch.

Referee Andreas Pappas waited half an hour beyond the scheduled kick-off but eventually decided that the conditions were unsafe on Saturday, reports Xinhua.

Club chairman Yiannis Alafouzos issued a statement late on Saturday that he will submit his resignation to an emergency meeting of the club’s board on Sunday.

Panathinaikos will likely forfeit the game and, depending on the referee’s report, they could also be docked points, fined and made to play a number of home games behind closed doors.

Clashes between Panathinaikos fans and police started outside the venue about two hours before the game when fans, apparently without tickets, attempted to storm the gates and threw rocks at the police.

Clashes between police and fans continued inside the ground until it was evacuated about an hour after the referee decided not to start the match. The empty field was littered with hundreds of broken plastic chairs and a few metal pipes. A flare thrown from the stands hit Olympiakos forward Alfred Finnbogason in the leg.

The Iceland international, on loan to Olympiakos from Real Sociedad, was filming the clashes with his cellphone. Olympiakos officials said he suffered mild burns and was spared a worse injury because he, like his fellow players, had not taken off his tracksuit. Defender Luka Milivojevic was also injured, the team announced.

Olympiakos finally left the central Athens stadium two hours after the game was cancelled, as police made sure nearby streets were safe. Olympiakos lead the league with 10 wins in as many games, with Panathinaikos eight points behind.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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