All soccer action suspended in a bid to combat violence

Deputy Minister for Sport Stavros Kontonis asked on Wednesday the main bodies of Greek soccer to suspend all activity indefinitely, or until there are specific commitments by all sides involved for the combatting of violence and a new legislative framework is agreed on.

Kontonis met in the morning with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and secured the PM’s approval to his decision for the suspension of all soccer activity until further notice, given the tension generated in two derbies on Sunday (Panathinaikos vs Olympiakos and Larissa vs Olympiakos Volou) and the ugly scenes during Tuesday’s Super League board meeting.

Then in the afternoon Kontonis held a meeting with representatives of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO), the Super League and the Football League and announced to them the government’s intention to see all leagues suspended until a solution is found.

On Sunday Panathinaikos fans responded to the taunting by Olympiakos manager Vitor Pereira before the derby at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium storming the pitch and attacking the Olympiakos squad, while there later was a shower of objects hurled at Olympiakos players and president Vangelis Marinakis, with a flare hitting an Olympiakos player.

At Larissa’s Alcazar Stadium Olympiakos Volou fans clashed with those of Larissa and with police, with several injuries reported.

On Tuesday the Super League meeting was suspended after the president of Olympiakos reportedly hurled a glass of water at his Panathinaikos counterpart, Yiannis Alafouzos, and a bouncer allegedly punched Panathinaikos vice-president Vassilis Constantinou in the face.

There have already been two weekends without soccer action this season, the first due to the killing of a fan in a third division game and the second owing to the attack on a referee official that had him seriously injured.