OPINION

Taking responsibility

I have a proposal to make regarding the next major soccer match in Athens following Sunday’s violent incidents. Both the government and the police should make it clear that the managers of the soccer clubs in question are exclusively responsible for maintaining order both inside and outside the stadium and that the attending prosecutor should interrupt the match at the first sign of violence and disqualify both teams. This proposal may seem somewhat excessive to some who would counter that it would deal a severe blow to the soccer pools, which would in turn cease to provide the State with as much money as they do now. But there is no other way of destroying the scourge. The bottom line is that the average policeman, with his paltry wage, should not be obliged to put his health at risk every Sunday to contain certain groups of so-called soccer supporters. It should be the club managers who undertake a greater responsibility because – as is the case with all other firms – they are accountable in the event of any injuries or other damage occurring on their premises. Also, it is the managers and their entourages who essentially organize the supporters of their clubs. High-profile businessmen play a key role in soccer clubs, either directly or indirectly; not due to any particular love of sports but rather in order to win «popular support» through fans and to thus score on a public relations level…