Greece to shut soccer fan clubs after teenager’s murder

Alkis Kampanos murder thessaloniki intime 320x200 1

The Greek government is to shut all soccer supporters clubs until the end of August as part of a crackdown on violence within the sport following the death of a teenage fan in the Greek city of Thessaloniki.

The February 1 murder of 19-year-old Alkis Kambanos shocked the city and fans nationwide – in a country that has laboured to tame sport-related violence and corruption for years.

12 people have been charged in connection with the attack.

Reports said Kambanos was beaten and stabbed after they were asked which football club they supported. Kambanos bled to death on the spot after he was stabbed on the inner upper thigh.

Takis Theodorikakos, a minister for public order, said the new steps would include tougher jail terms and sentencing policies for organised sport-related violence.

He added supporters clubs would be allowed to reopen only after July 31 following an extensive review and the introduction of a new functional framework.

Hooliganism is a global scourge that is responsible for the death of dozens of people. We must join forces, the government, political parties, soccer teams, and players. No one has the right to be absent from this effort to confront the violence,” Theodorikakos said.

The new measures will need parliamentary approval but are likely to receive broad political support beyond the New Democracy government’s majority.