Prearranged fan battles

The entire issue appears to be a hot potato which no one wants to handle. A Panathinaikos supporter with a great deal of experience with these groups agreed to talk to Kathimerini on condition of anonymity. «Arranging attacks is a fashion that has come here from abroad. There are unwritten laws in these fights. Accounts are usually settled by coming to blows, without the use of knives or other dangerous weapons. You don’t hit someone when they are down, nor pick on a group if the numbers aren’t about equal.» «In Paeania (last week’s fatal attack), the Olympiakos supporters broke every rule in the book. There were many more of them, armed and ready for anything. The Panathinaikos supporters were mostly very young, compared to the more experienced Olympiakos men, many of them professional bouncers at nightclubs. These were armed with knives, stilettos, crowbars, chains and fire extinguishers. The attack was brutal. In Pangrati, where another attack had been arranged, no Panathinaikos supporter hit an Olympiakos man who was down. We respect our opponent. If someone falls down, that’s it. That code was broken by Olympiakos (supporters) and we saw what happened. Unfortunately, no one touches the Olympiakos supporters. They put someone’s eye out in Patras and someone else’s here in Rizoupoli, yet no one went to jail. «The police officer in charge at that match is now the head of security for the Olympiakos team. Watch the Magic TV channel. They say the most incredible things on it and it is the team itself that has given them the floor. (Olympiakos President Socrates) Kokkalis has said that ‘these are our supporters and we’re not changing them.’ They have been given asylum. How could such a large mob riding from one end of the city to another not have been known to the team management, when the ringleader is on the team’s board of directors? «The Panathinaikos (volleyball) team management knew about the plan and had warned its federation. Panathinaikos general management had also been briefed because there was a problem with the team members. They could have encountered the Olympiakos supporters when arriving or leaving the Paeania venue. Imagine what would have happened if they had. «You should know, however, that Panathinaikos’s management cut off all contact with its supporters’ clubs some time ago. Relations were never very good anyway. The arrangement was for a fight at the women’s volleyball match because security is always very light there compared with soccer matches. If it had been a soccer match, the whole area would have been fortified to the hilt.»

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