Belated reaction

When somebody is killed, someone has to have blood on his hands. A government that introduced new legislation without bothering to enforce it cannot be considered innocent. A police force that had been warned what was coming and yet arrived after the battle (exhausted perhaps after days of student riots) cannot be considered innocent. The heads of the Super League, whose first priority seems to be easing the sanctions imposed on soccer clubs for the trouble caused by their fans, cannot be considered innocent. Soccer club owners who build up private armies in order to intimidate referees and opponents (but are now held hostage to their creations) cannot be considered innocent. Likewise, the big shots who star in the attacks on referees when they are not on TV talk panels talking about the need to purge soccer of violence and corruption cannot be considered innocent. Those who make money from the club-affiliated hate press cannot be considered innocent. Finally, the Socialist opposition party, which while in power stood as an innocent bystander as violence grew, cannot be considered innocent. The gangs that we all of a sudden claim to have discovered have been around for years, enjoying financial support, ideological guidance (from specific media), political backing from vote-grabbing politicians and legal protection from their clubs. After the Paeania murder, the government reached for the same old shield: «Incidents of this sort have no place in the Greece of culture and Olympic ideals,» said the government spokesman. Theodoros Roussopoulos, it seems, was not around in August 2004 when Greek fans booed foreign athletes because they refused to be defeated by our native ones. Not one of our politicians seems to have realized that their shield has long been full of holes.

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