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Can aggression on football stadiums in Greece be stopped ?

25 March 2010 / 17:03:55  GRReporter
3567 reads

Can sporting events become a symbol of aggression and police presence? Can athletes and journalists work safely only when they are surrounded by hordes of police? Should the audience (so-called "fans") be restrained (by force) at any time by the police in order not to carry out acts of aggression? Unfortunately the answer is "Yes, it can” and not only that it can but it must. This is indeed the only possibility for football, basketball and volleyball sports meetings to be held in the country. The question is what should be done even if those measures are not enough to ensure the smooth running of games. Paradoxically, neither the increased number of police nor the recently imposed ban on the presence of fans in the stadiums can guarantee the peaceful conduct of sporting events. An example from only some hours ago was the atmosphere in Kavala. Shortly before the beginning of the game between Kavala and Aris, the Aris fans were attacked by fans of PAOK. The result as always is associated with victims of violence, property damage caused to shops and cars. A little later Aris fans tried to enter the stadium Anti Karajan despite the ban. So the police were forced to use tear gas to push them away and here is how from the beginning of the game we felt the bitter taste of aggression and bullying. The same bitter taste was brought by the beginning of the game between the two biggest football opponents - Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, last Sunday in OAKA. Fans of the green team attacked the delegation bus of the white-reds at their arrival at OAKA. During the course of the game, bottles and small bombs poured down from the seats. The game even had to be interrupted and an employee partially lost her fingers while trying to remove a bomb from the field thrown by a fan. 

 Who is the main culprit for what happened and how can similar situation be controlled? There is still no answer to this question. Official statements of the presidents of the two teams show that they are not so interested in the fight against aggression in the stadiums but in the struggle for supremacy in football and lowering the prestige of the opposing team. How else can we explain the exchanged accusations between the two "fronts"? Commenting on allegations sent by Olympiakos to Panathinaikos, the green team talks about coloring the facts intentionally. They simultaneously condemn throwing fire bombs during games between the two teams this season. In their official released statement after the events of the last game in OAKA, Panathinaikos review the conduct of both teams during previous games. In it they indicate accurate quotes from remarks made by the management team of the white-red team, which were aiming to arouse aggression in players and the assembled at the stadium crowd. In response, Sokratis Kokalis called the behavior of President of Pappas shameful and accused him that instead of publicly apologizing to the Greek people for what happened at OAKA stadium, he brings out false data on past games... But let us leave the bile charges of both teams. They do not lead to anything constructive in the fight against aggression on stadiums in Greece. 

The fact is that sporting events are accompanied by a bitter taste of wounded people by small bombs (as in the case of the employee who tried to remove the small bomb from the field), beaten to unconsciousness or just scared to death public and officials. 

One thing is clear - the measures which the Greek state is taking in combating aggression are not enough...

Tags: Greece football vandalism bullying
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