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Greek Police Detain PAOK Soccer Fans for Defying Lockdown

Αssociated Press

FILE- PAOK's fans chant slogans during the Champions League third qualifying round, first leg soccer match between PAOK FC and AFC Ajax, at Toumba Stadium in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

THESSALONIKI – Known for their idolatry of their team, dozens of fans of the PAOK soccer team gathered outside their team's stadium to celebrate its 94th anniversary before being dispersed and some detained for violating the COVID-19 lockdown.

Officers who arrived outside the stadium urged fans who were chanting slogans to stop but were ignored, said Kathimerini, leading to riot police being called in to chase them away before grabbing an unspecified number.

Violators of the lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Coronavirus are fined 150 euros ($162.35) for being out of their homes without a permissible reason, such as going to a supermarket, bank, medical care or brief exercise or trips to essential businesses allowed to be open.

During a voluntary quarantine before a general lockdown began on March 23, Thessaloniki was a hub of defiance to stay at home restrictions, even crowding the popular waterfront promenade before that was largely shut down by police.