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Greece Suspends All Professional Football After Incidents of Fan Violence

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2015

Panathinaiko’s fans hold flares as they celebrate a goal against Olympiakos during their Greek Super League soccer match at the Apostolos Nikolaides stadium in Athens, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
Yorgos Karahalis/Associated Press

Amid rampant violence in the Greek domestic football league, the country has decided to suspend all matches.

BBC Sport has the report:

The Greek government has suspended professional football in the country indefinitely in a crackdown on violence.

The move follows violence at a match between rivals Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, as well as a brawl between club officials at a board meeting on Tuesday.

The Greek league has already been suspended twice this season due to violence.

Olympiakos seems likely to be the biggest loser here, as they will likely be forced to forfeit the return leg of their Europa League draw against Dnipro after losing the the first leg, 2-0, in Kyiv.

Indeed, the entire season has been marked by controversy and violence. Fifty AEK fans recently stormed a town hall meeting, demanding new stadium construction be discussed and vandalizing the room and attacking folks in the meeting when they were told construction would be discussed the following week.

A referee was attacked in January by players who didn't agree with a call on the field. An Ethnikos supporter was killed after fighting broke out between Andrianos and Ethnikos fans in September. Former referee Christoforos Zografos was attacked by two men with clubs in November. 

These are just a few of the incidents that have marred football in Greece this season, culminating with violence during the Athens Derby. It's hardly surprising then that the Greek government would step in an once again suspend play. For the number of supporters and players who have done nothing wrong, it is a harsh punishment, as once again the actions of a few will end up punishing the whole.

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