OPINION

Bad sportsmanship

We may persist in preaching to others about good sportsmanship but it appears that we have forgotten what this means in our own country. Perhaps the visitors who came for the Olympics, and who sat and patiently listened to our lectures on sportsmanship, kept this spirit when they left. How else can we explain that Greeks, the European champions and Olympic organizers, are unable to organize a soccer match where supporters of both teams are able to attend? But officials in the worlds of athletics and politics appear to be satisfied – if not proud – that Olympiakos and Panathinaikos agreed to play on Saturday in the presence of Olympiakos fans but without the other team’s supporters. And we too are asked to take pride in this «peace treaty.» But how can we feel happy about the frank acknowledgement of the absence of sporting culture in this country? How can anyone boast about organizing a sporting event where half of those entitled to be there are banned from attending in order to prevent violence? It was with enthusiasm that Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis announced a drop in the incidence of soccer violence this year… The new measures may help the minister to trim the statistics of violence, but where is the reason for pride? If cars were banned from the roads, there would be no accidents. Would we then feel proud of having better road safety?