Soccer clubs hold key to hooliganism
Greece’s soccer club owners have at times pressured the law enforcement authorities to take the appropriate measures to prevent violence involving rival supporters or attacks on the actual teams and their officials. Their demands are hypocritical, to say the least. Soccer clubs should start by severing their ties to the organized hooligan groups whose support they cultivate and which they have repeatedly taken advantage of to serve their own interests. As recent events have made abundantly clear, the Greek police force is already overloaded trying to meet the already numerous tasks and challenges that it faces. The force cannot afford mobilizing extra staff to combat violence and hooliganism across the country’s soccer stadiums. For that reason, club owners should concentrate first on putting their own houses in order before turning to the state to ask for protection from hooligans. After all, it is the teams themselves that are primarily responsible for eliminating violence both within and around soccer stadiums.