Minister brands arrested PAOK fan ‘idiot’ over thrown paper roll

Greek Deputy Minister for Sports and Culture Giorgos Vasiliadis on Monday branded a PAOK fan who was arrested after throwing an object in the face of a rival team’s coach “an idiot”.

But Vasiliadis’s ire seemed more related to the possible sporting sanctions PAOK will face than the potential injury suffered by Olympiakos boss Oscar Garcia.

Vasiliadis said the fan was “an idiot who has put a team in danger of losing the championship”.

Greek leaders PAOK’s clash with Olympiakos on Sunday was called off by the referee before it even began after Garcia had to be taken to hospital with a facial injury suffered when hit by a cashier’s paper roll — initially been reported as a toilet roll.

“This is very ugly,” Vasiliadis said in an interview on Alpha Radio.

PAOK lead the Greek league by one point from AEK, with Olympiakos, winners of the the title in the last seven seasons, six points back in third.

Greek football authorities could decide to award Olympiakos a 3-0 victory in the match or order it to be played at a later date with a different sanction — such as a stadium closure — imposed on PAOK.

Spaniard Garcia spent the night at a heavily-guarded Thessaloniki hospital and was released the next morning after being diagnosed by a neurologist with sensitivity to the left temporal joint, dizziness, neck pain and nausea.

A number of PAOK supporters reportedly tried to present a bouquet of flowers to Garcia at the hospital but were turned away by police.

Greek media reports said the 27-year-old PAOK supporter charged with throwing the object had previously been arrested three times for incidents related to sports violence, the first when he was a minor.

Police described the suspect as “particularly dangerous”.

He will be charged in court on Wednesday with possession and throwing of an object as well as causing dangerous personal injury, according to media reports.



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