Crowd trouble leads to suspension of Greece v Croatia

Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus
The qualifier was staged at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium

Masked troublemakers forced the Euro 2012 qualifier between Greece and Croatia to be halted for six minutes.

A 100-strong group, some wearing motorcycle helmets, threw flares and at least one petrol bomb towards visiting Croatia fans.

Premier League referee Howard Webb suspended the match less than three minutes after kick-off in Piraeus.

The Group F game resumed after the delay and Greece went on to win the match 2-0.

But there was still trouble off the pitch as the Croat supporters, said to number about 700, ripped out seats and threw them at riot police, who responded with pepper spray.

Last December, hooligans in the Croatian capital Zagreb stoned and set fire to a coach carrying fans of the Greek side PAOK, injuring three people.

The attackers, said to be fans of Dinamo Zagreb, the team playing PAOK in the Europa League, attacked the coach despite it having a Croatian police escort.

Eleven arrests were made and some of those detained were found to be on a register of hooligans, Zagreb police spokeswoman Jelena Bikic was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency at the time.

Greece won 2-0 as goals by Celtic's Georgios Samaras and Fanis Gekas sent them two points clear of Croatia at the top of the table with one game to go.

They will qualify for next summer's finals if they draw against Georgia in Tbilisi on Tuesday.