OPINION

Olympic education

The Olympiakos-Panathinaikos basketball game was canceled indefinitely after stones were thrown at the bus carrying the Panathinaikos team to Piraeus. It would have been wiser to cancel all championship matches in all sports at least until the 2004 Olympics when, as political and sporting officials tell us, a different spirit will prevail. It would also be a good idea to force the owners, coaches and managers of all teams to go back to school so they can benefit from the «Olympic Education» lessons now being taught. Even if they don’t come to their senses, they will be so busy studying for exams they won’t have time to make inflammatory statements. The same goes for journalists who make a living out of trading in fanaticism and defending the interests of one tycoon or another. If hooligans stoning athletes is terrible, then the stance taken by those who run sporting teams and make huge profits from them is twice as bad. The generals ensure that they compensate their devoted armies in many ways, as they know that without the violence they themselves will no longer have the upper hand in the game itself, whether football or basketball. So they alternate between the roles of victor and victim, but use the same rhetoric: «All those who encourage people to do these things should be punished!» If we are to believe their good intentions, however, they should have acted beforehand. Hypocrite is too good a word for them.