Croatia's government on Tuesday condemned in the strongest terms the hooligan violence in Athens which claimed the life of a 22-year-old Greek on Monday evening, and it extended condolences to the family of this victim.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic phoned his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis to convey his condolences and condemn the violence that broke out between football fans ahead of the UEFA Champions League third-qualifying-round match between hosts AEK Athens and Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb.
Such behaviour of fans is an act of negating sport that is supposed to promote fair play, tolerance and respect for other players, reads the government’s statement.
Instead of having the first leg between the Greek and Croatian championship within UEFA Champions League qualifying phase, we saw shocking scenes in Athens where a part of those fans also did damage to the Croatian football, the statement says.
The Plenkovic cabinet expects the competent authorities to investigate all the circumstances of that tragic event and to bring to justice all those accountable for hooligan violence, deaths and injuries of supporters.
The embassy in Athens is in permanent touch with the Greek authorities in connection with the arrest and detention of about 80 Croatian citizens after that violent brawl outside the AEK stadium in the Greek capital.
Postponed match likely to take place on August 18 or 19 in Athens
Following yesterday’s violence and in consultation with the local authorities, UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations) has decided that the conditions for the match between AEK Athens FC and GNK Dinamo to go ahead at 8.45 pm on Tuesday are not met.
The match GNK Dinamo vs AEK Athens FC in Zagreb will be played on Tuesday August 15, as scheduled.
UEFA is in contact with both clubs to confirm the date for the rescheduled match between AEK Athens FC and GNK Dinamo either on Friday 18 August 18, or on Saturday 19 August, the organisation says on its web site.
The previously communicated decision regarding no away supporters for both matches is maintained and all necessary measures shall be implemented.
“UEFA deplores in the strongest possible terms the appalling incidents that took place in Athens last night and resulted in the loss of a life. While expressing our deepest sympathy to the family of the victim, to AEK Athens FC and its fans, we would like to reiterate that violence has no place in our sport and we expect that those responsible for this terrible act be arrested and consigned to justice in the shortest delay.”