SPORTS VIOLENCE

Greece suspends operation of fan clubs until July 31

Greece suspends operation of fan clubs until July 31

Greece has suspended the operation of hundreds of fan clubs associated with soccer teams in a bid to combat hooligans using them as cover.

The ban, which will apply until the end of July, was announced on Monday as part of a series of measures designed to address violence at sports events following the brutal killing of a 19-year-old soccer fan in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on February 1 in an attack connected to soccer fan rivalry.

Authorities had until Sunday raided 575 fan clubs across Greece, Citizen Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos told a press briefing. They also issued a permanent ban on 67 clubs and made 17 arrests, he said.

“It is time that we killed the Lernaean Hydra of violence and hooliganism,” Theodorikakos said.