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Greek police below hearth over lethal soccer violence

Greece croatia football violence

Soccer followers, most of them from Croatia, cowl their faces whereas leaving the Athens Police Headquarters in Athens, as they’re being detained as a part of the inquiry on the loss of life of a Greek fan throughout violent clashes on August 9, 2023.  (Picture by YIANNIS PANAGOPOULOS / EUROKINISSI / AFP)

Greek police have been accused Wednesday of getting ignored warnings a couple of convoy of Croatian soccer “hooligans” heading for Athens days earlier than a Greek supporter was killed in clashes between followers.

Greater than 100 individuals appeared earlier than Greek prosecutors Wednesday in reference to a lethal mass brawl close to Athens earlier than Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier between AEK Athens and Croatian aspect Dinamo Zagreb.

The match was referred to as off after a 29-year-old Greek fan Michalis Katsouris died after being stabbed in clashes between rival followers close to AEK’s Nea Filadelfeia stadium wherein stun grenades, stones and incendiary gadgets have been thrown.

Prosecutors mentioned the suspects, principally Croatian, might be investigated for manslaughter, possession of explosives and membership of a legal group.



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Anger on the killing has been sharpened by claims that Greek police didn’t cease a big group of Croatian “ultras” after being warned by Zagreb that they have been on their means.

The day earlier than the killing, Montenegrin officers mentioned, in addition they warned Greek police that 120 Croatian followers in 21 autos have been heading for Athens by way of Albania.

Greece’s citizen’s safety minister Yannis Oikonomou mentioned it was “inadmissible and unacceptable” that the convoy had been allowed to cross the nation unchallenged, and demanded that seven officers together with the top of the police division in opposition to violence in sport needs to be transferred to different positions.

He has additionally ordered an inside inquiry as prosecutors resolve whether or not any of the officers needs to be charged.

Greek media reacted angrily to the revelations with the Kathimerini every day lashing the “inertia of Greek police” that left Athens “with out safety from the battalion of terror”.

The monetary every day Naftemporiki mentioned “hooliganism had triumphed over the state” after “the commando raid of Croat and Greek assassins”.

 Greek followers additionally concerned

Greece croatia football violence police

Greek police consultants seek for proof outdoors AEK Athens’ OPAP Enviornment on August 8, 2023 after a Greek soccer fan was stabbed to loss of life on the outskirts of Athens throughout a brawl between rival membership supporters, with 96 individuals arrested in violent clashes. (Picture by Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP)

Police arrested 104 individuals, together with 94 Croats, six Greeks, an Albanian, an Austrian, a Bosnian and a German after the clashes.

5 males have been detained on the port of Igoumenitsa, greater than 470 kilometers (290 miles) northwest of Athens, as they tried to flee to Italy.

Police mentioned round 120 Dinamo Zagreb supporters have been concerned within the combating wherein eight supporters have been additionally injured. Some Greek followers fought alongside them, they added.

Social media footage confirmed followers wearing black clashing amid loud explosions across the stadium after a Dinamo coaching session inside. Some have been additionally armed with picket bats, police mentioned.

Greece has a power drawback with soccer violence.

After an analogous outcry following the loss of life of a 19-year-old murdered in a battle between followers of the rival Thessaloniki golf equipment Aris and PAOK, the federal government elevated the utmost sentence for soccer violence from six months to 5 years final 12 months.

Croatia’s inside ministry mentioned it had despatched the Greek police “all of the fascinating info on the supporters prone to go to Greece” by way of Europol and Interpol.

European soccer’s governing physique UEFA condemned “the appalling incidents within the strongest doable phrases” and postponed the match till August 19.

Nonetheless, the return match in Zagreb will go forward on August 15 as deliberate, though the followers of each golf equipment have been banned from touring to the away legs.


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