Greece steps up security at stadiums

The Champions League final, Europe’s top club soccer match, will be hosted safely in Athens next month, the government insisted yesterday as it unveiled measures to deter domestic hooliganism as well as trouble between visiting supporters. A ministerial committee set up in the wake of a deadly brawl between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos fans last month met yesterday and decided that CCTV cameras should be installed immediately at all stadiums. They will be linked to a surveillance system that will be used by police to monitor fans inside and outside sports grounds. The Champions League final, which will take place at the Olympic Stadium on May 23 and will be watched by more than 200 million people on TV, will be the first match at which the CCTV surveillance system will be used. «It will be a dress rehearsal as the system will be working in the presence of the 70,000 supporters of the two teams,» said Sports Minister Giorgos Orfanos. »We have taken all the necessary measures so that Greece can organize the safest Champions League final ever,» he added. The CCTV systems, which were due to be installed last year, will be set up at 18 soccer stadiums and four basketball arenas by October. «The system’s abilities are excellent – it can detect any movement, in detail, throughout the interior and exterior of the stadium,» said Orfanos. E-ticketing will also be introduced, which means that fans’ details are logged onto a computer when they buy tickets so that police can track them down if they misbehave inside the stadium. The latest measures follow the government’s recent decision to ban supporter clubs, which are seen as the root of a wave of violence in recent months. Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said the set of measures were designed to ensure that «the few cannot impose the law of the jungle» at sports events.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.