Greek side PAOK have refused to participate in a minute of silence in today’s domestic game against Olympiacos in memory of the killed Red Star fan in Istanbul on Friday.
Ahead of the game between Olympiacos and PAOK, the Reds requested to ESAKE that the clubs pay their respects before the game, but the request was denied. They also threatened to leave the court if they had to take part.
The club claimed that the request for the minute silence was announced 15 minutes before the scheduled tip-off time and that they could not decide so quickly.
Red Star fan Marko Ivkovic was stabbed to death outside the Abdi Ipecki Arena on Friday night just before the Serbian side’s Euroleague game against Galatasaray.
Turkish authorities are investigating and the Euroleague issued a statement regarding the incident.
Euroleague Basketball and its clubs, players and coaches throughout the continent join the world family of sports this weekend in mourning the death of a visiting fan to Istanbul on Friday and in condemning the senseless violence that took his life.
The 25-year-old stabbing victim, Marko Ivkovic, had travelled from Belgrade to support Crvena Zvezda Telekom in its road game against Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul. The incident, which took place before his arrival to the arena, is under investigation of the Turkish authorities.
Euroleague Basketball has requested that both clubs and the Turkish authorities investigating the crime make available all the information about the incident and will evaluate any measures to be taken.
Through his club and Serbian authorities, Euroleague Basketball has expressed its deepest condolences to the victim’s family.
“This tragedy offends the true spirit of sports,” Jordi Bertomeu, President and CEO of Euroleague Basketball, said in a statement. “Violence has no place in our game, at our arenas or anywhere near them. It’s just the opposite. Respect between rivals dedicated to the same ideals should bring us all together. That is why we organize and play sports. Today, we must all refocus on those ideals.”