The Greek Super League Derby match between PAOK and AEK Athens was going according to plan until it took a dramatic turn for the worse as a result of a controversial disallowed goal incident.
PAOK though they had scored the winning goal with an 89th minute strike only for the centre referee to change his mind after entertaining the protests of players from the visiting team.
This prompted unrest both in the stands and on the field as PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis invaded the pitch while armed with a gun in the company of his entourage.
The goal would have taken PAOK to the league summit ahead of their rivals.
Savvidis appeared to usher the PAOK players off the pitch and also confronted referee Giorgios Kominis before he was led away by his security.
He appeared to direct some angry words towards one of the match officials as the angered PAOK owner was restrained from doing more damage.
The match was called off after the referee went down the tunnel though he later re-emerged alongside his officiating team with PAOK claiming on Twitter that the game “was finally halted with the score 1-0” in favour of the hosts, despite the fact that the late goal was initially ruled out.
AEK coach Manolo Jimenez also hinted that the previously disallowed goal was given.
In his words via Onda Cero, Jimenez said: “Right now we are leaving the stadium escorted by the police.”
“The referee has invalidated the goal of PAOK for offside, there was a brawl of players and many people entered the field, including their president with bodyguards.
“After the invasion, the referee has gone inside and after two hours wanted to resume. We said no. The shame is that in the end the referee has given them the goal, after all that has happened.
“We learned later that the president had a gun, we did not see it there on the pitch.” he concluded.
This new development represents the second time in less than two months that PAOK’s Toumba Stadium has been involved in violence.
The club had a stadium ban and a three-point deduction revoked earlier in the day after an incident against Olympiacos on February 25.
Olympiacos coach Oscar Garcia was struck by a roll of paper thrown from the stands leading to an injury that required hospital treatment.