Greek government BANS fans from attending matches until February

Greek government BANS fans from attending top-flight matches until February as a police officer is injured in clashes between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos supporters

  • A police officer was left in a critical condition after being injured last week 
  • The Greek government ruled top flight clubs must play behind closed doors 
  • On a packed train, how DO you ask a celebrity to move from a seat you have reserved? It’s All Kicking Off

The Greek government has announced top-flight football matches will be played behind closed doors until February 12 after a police officer was injured in clashes between rival fans.

Action was taken after a police officer suffered a severed artery in their thigh in violence during a volleyball match in Athens last week.

The match was between rivals Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, with both teams owned by football clubs carrying the same name.

Pavlos Marinakis, a Government spokesperson, announced after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis that all top flight football matches will be held behind closed door for two months.

Marinakis said action was the latest steps taken by the government in its attempts to curb extreme fan violence.

Riot police were forced to break up violent clashes between fans last week with an officer left in a critical condition after an artery in their thigh was severed by a flare

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‘The murderous attack on the police officer is not the first incident of extreme fan violence,’ Marinakis told a press briefing.

‘For many years now, criminals in the cloak of the fan have been committing serious crimes, seriously injuring and killing.

‘We know and completely understand the anger of society, of all sane citizens, in front of images that do not refer to sports.

‘From the first moment, the Government has made it clear that it will exhaust its actions and interventions to deal with a chronic problem. And in fact we have made it clear that our interventions will be dynamic, meaning they will be constantly reviewed based on their results.

‘While we have given time and space for everyone to comply with our decisions, unfortunately it has proven that further interventions that are even more drastic, but absolutely fair and necessary, are required.

‘Neither athletes, nor fans should they suffer from the murderous behaviour of criminal gangs and the pathetic tolerance of a tiny minority of fans.’

The Athens News Agency reported that the 18-year-old who was arrested for injuring the police officer has confessed at the public prosecutor’s office on Monday.

Over 400 people were detained briefly by police after last week’s violence.

Marinakis has said the decision could also apply to European home matches, with clubs ordered to install cameras and systems of electronic identification for fans at the stadiums.

The order will lead to Olympiakos having to play Serbian side Backa Topola behind closed doors in their final Europa League group stage match on Thursday.


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Panathinaikos and PAOK will be able to welcome fans for their matches against Maccabi Haifa and HJK Helsinki respectively.

Last year, the Greek government increased the maximum sentence for crimes of fan violence from six months to five years.

The move came after a 19-year-old Alkis Kampanos was killed during clashes between supporters of Aris Thessaloniki and PAOK. 

Kampanos was the third death as a result of fan violence in a three-year period in Thessaloniki.

In August , a Champions League qualifier between AEK Athens and Dinamo Zagreb was postponed after a fan was stabbed to death in the Greek capital. 

The Greek supporter died following clashes between rival fans.

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