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Football | Europa League

PAOK to play behind closed doors



Greek club PAOK Salonica will have to play their next three European home games behind closed doors after losing an appeal against sanctions imposed by Uefa following a riot at a match in August.

The club will also have to pay a 150 000 € ($193 458) fine and face automatic expulsion from European competition if there is a repeat incident within the next three years, European soccer's governing body said Monday.

The trouble broke out before the start of PAOK's Europa League qualifying tie at home to Austrian side Rapid Vienna on Aug 23.

The Austrian club said that Molotov cocktails were among the weapons used to attack their fans as they arrived at the Toumba stadium for the match.

Video showed fans hurling a variety of firecrackers and other missiles at each other, and at one point dozens of masked fans ran onto the pitch.

Rapid said that some of their supporters were also attacked in the city centre before the game.

"PAOK were charged with the improper conduct of supporters - crowd disturbances, pitch invasion, setting off and throwing of missiles and fireworks - and insufficient organisation," said Uefa in a statement.

Rapid have already lost an appeal after being ordered to play one European match behind closed doors and pay a 75 000 € fine.

PAOK won the match 2-1 but lost the second leg 3-0. The punishment will be applied next time they qualify for European competition.



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