SPORTS

Soccer suspension just for one week, just for the top flight

The government rolled back on Wednesday evening from its earlier decision to suspend all soccer action indefinitely as announced to representatives of the leagues and the federation, and has instead called a suspension for just one week, just for the top flight on the condition that authorities and clubs will adhere to promises given for containing violence.

After his second meeting of the day with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Deputy Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis announced that the Super League action of this coming weekend is suspended, but all other leagues and cups will carry on as scheduled.

“The decision of the government regarding the combatting of violence is definitive and irrevocable. It is impossible to tolerate business interests developed in the field of sports because this runs counter to sports and the fans. All that happened in match at [the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos], where it was only thanks to a miracle that we did not have any dead people, as well as everything that happened at the board meeting [of the Super League] have created a terrible atmosphere,” said Kontonis.

“Under these circumstances it is impossible to have games played this Sunday. I have stressed to the soccer authorities in our meeting today that the law providing for fan clubs must be enforced,” said the minister, adding that the suspension only concerns this weekend: “Next Wednesday we shall meet again with the representatives of the authorities and see what they have implemented out of what they have promised to do. If the situation remains the same, there will be another suspension.”

According to Greek law the government can only force a one-week suspension each time. Already this season soccer action has been suspended twice for one week each time.

Just as Kontonis was making those statements, there were fierce clashes reported at Lamia in the second-division match between the local club and Anagennisi Karditsas.