OPINION

Pushing and shoving

Tables, chairs, blocks of wood, chips of marble, advertisement banners, shoes, slippers, socks, bottles, cups, trash cans, buckets, life belts, bags, a camera and its tripod… The above objects were thrown into a pool where a water polo match was under way between Olympiakos and Panionios on Wednesday. The ruckus was provoked by Olympiakos fans, who during the Olympics had cheered on certain Panionios players wearing the caps of the national team. Those were the days… Water polo is a harsh game. A lot of pushing and shoving goes on under the water. And matches are not only attended by fans who know the rules but also by ignoramuses looking for an outlet for their fanaticism and love of violence. So, when provoked, they join in the pushing and shoving. And how does one provoke a fan? The provocation at Wednesday’s game was the spat that broke out among players, which is hardly unusual. But the pieces of marble and trash cans in the pool are anything but usual. What was certainly predictable was the attempted justifications by those in charge who do not want to upset fans with criticism. Olympiakos officials blamed the riot on the «lack of sufficient policing.» So, if there is not one policeman per supporter, is it impossible for us to organize a water polo game? Those who believe that banning the presence of visiting supporters can curb hooliganism should think again. There were no rival fans at Wednesday’s water polo match…