No end to violence in sports

The deplorable events that took place during the basketball game between archrivals Olympiakos and Panathinaikos on Sunday are sure to be repeated in coming games as well. Chances are that the outbursts will become more violent, because the people instigating them also want to propagate them. The Greek sports press, in turn, has been whipping fanatics up into a frenzy with its incendiary commentaries, while club officials, rather than trying to bring the situation under control and softening the tones of discourse, are making the situation even worse. Last, but not least, the state machine is nowhere to be seen in this chaos, even though costly measures have already been taken to prevent such violent outbreaks. Fans were assigned numbered tickets, there were closed-circuit television cameras in the arena, yet no one was arrested or reprimanded, even for throwing flares in a closed stadium. Sunday’s events will most certainly not be the last if all those involved in the world of sports do not stop cultivating fanaticism and the state continues to ignore its responsibilities.