Published June 28, 2012
ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Two people were wounded in a shootout after armed robbers invaded the Athens home of PAOK Thessaloniki football (soccer) coach Giorgos Donis and briefly held his father-in-law hostage on Thursday, police said.
The shooting occurred in Athens' upscale Kifissia area. A police officer was shot in the leg and an alleged armed robber was also wounded.
The two gunmen were arrested following a large police operation involving a helicopter and dozens of officers on foot and on motorcycles. One of the alleged attackers was identified as a 25-year-old Albanian man, while the second man was not immediately identified.
Jewelry snatched by the robbers was also recovered, police said.
The 42-year-old Donis, a former Greek National team midfielder and player for Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United in England, was not present when two men entered his home, holding his wife's parents and two children at gunpoint.
Police were alerted after Donis' wife was returning home and apparently spotted the gunmen through a window. She alerted police guards posted outside the neighboring home of former Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou. Police said the gunmen briefly took her father hostage as they left the building, before letting him go unharmed.
Armed robbery has risen sharply in Greece since the country's major financial crisis broke out in late 2009.
Donis took over at financially struggling PAOK at the end of the season, after coaching top-flight club Atromitos and taking them to the Greek Cup Final for two successive years.