NEWS

Strict rules for sports fan clubs

The government is determined to clamp down on sports fans’ associations by regulating them strictly and making sports clubs responsible for their behavior. Yesterday, Sports Minister Giorgos Lianis sent a circular to all professional soccer clubs, sports and judicial authorities reminding them that the new law required fan clubs to be registered, like any other company and association, with the courts. The authorization and assent of the sports clubs is a pre-requisite to the registration. Sports clubs have until April 10 to provide the General Secretariat for Sports with a list of the fan clubs they endorse or will endorse. So far, none of the numerous fan clubs has registered with a court. Only registered clubs will be provided tickets from the clubs to sell to their members. Lianis and his immediate superior, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, have severely criticized fans’ involvement in riots and other untoward behavior inside and outside sports venues, calling them hubs for criminal activity, including drug dealing.