Derek McInnes rages over spitting and aggressive riot police

Aberdeen's Ryan Christie sees a late chance pass him by in Cyprus. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Aberdeen's Ryan Christie sees a late chance pass him by in Cyprus. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
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Angry Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes lashed out at the treatment of his players and fans after ugly scenes during and after the Dons’ Europa League exit in Cyprus and revealed he was spat on by Apollon fans.

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Angry Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes lashed out at the treatment of his players and fans after ugly scenes during and after the Dons’ Europa League exit in Cyprus and revealed he was spat on by Apollon fans.

His team exited the third qualifying round of the Europa League for the fourth year in a row after a below-par display in Larnaca to go out 3-2 on aggregate, but the game was marred by crazy Cypriot fans throwing flares, firecrackers and smoke bombs on to the pitch with Swiss ref Stephan Klossner threatening to abandon the match if another missile came on to the surface.

Aberdeen have vowed to launch a probe after fighting among the 700 Dons fans and local stewards at the end of the game. Riot police waded in, with women and children caught up in the mayhem.

The trouble continued outside as the Scots left the AEK Arena. McInnes, below, was unhappy at the lack of protection for players, staff and fans on the Mediterranean island.

He said: “I heard the referee tell the fourth official to have an announcement made that if one more flare came on to the pitch he was abandoning the game.

“I’ve heard what happened to our supporters at the end as well. You expect it to be passionate and noisy but when flares are getting thrown at your goalkeeper and your fans getting treated the way they were treated, it’s quite unfair on everybody.

“The police were very 
heavy-handed, going in with tear gas and being very aggressive towards them. When you see flares thrown on the pitch and supporters behind the dugout spitting at our players and myself and the staff, that is when stewards need to be more visible.”

“I expected what was going on. It wasn’t any real surprise. But when you hear the treatment our supporters got at the end that’s when it starts to stick in your throat a wee bit.”Uefa are sure to launch an investigation with both Aberdeen and Apollon in trouble for the disgraceful scenes.

McInnes said his side blew a great chance. “When you see the fans applaud the players and sing their names at the end of the game, it’s heartbreaking. I think the supporters recognise the efforts of the players. We’ve all got to take responsibility that that was one that got away.

“I’m not going to bleat about being unlucky. Over the two games we had more dominance in spells but they’ve found a way to win the game.”

Aberdeen later put out a statement which saidL “Following incidents at the end of this evening’s match in Larnaca, the club can confirm it has commenced dialogue with the stadium operators, Apollon Limassol and the authorities.

“As part of this, the club has requested that CCTV footage is interrogated in order to assist matters.

“The club will not be making any further comment until the conclusion of this comprehensive investigation.”

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