Seven senior police officers removed after fan death in AEK-Dinamo Zagreb football violence

AEK Dinamo Zagreb riot 2023 police

On Tuesday, Citizen Protection Minister Yiannis Economou announced that seven senior officers in the Hellenic Police would immediately be removed from their positions following the serious incidents between soccer hooligans of AEK and Dinamo Zagreb in the Athens, where one person was killed.

Economou said it was "unacceptable" that the Croatian hooligans had been permitted to cross the border and make their way to Athens and that prevention on the part of the authorities had failed.

He also clarified that the matter would not stop there and that there could be more removals and transfers of officers following an internal inquiry over the handling of the events to determine responsibility "at all levels and in all forms".

The internal inquiry will be assigned to a senior officer by the chief of police on Tuesday.

Economou also offered his condolences for the death of the 29-year-old AEK supporter who was knifed and provided assurances of the political will to address and defeat sports violence.

"Sport is not a space of violence...Unfortunately, despite the great effort that was made, especially after the murder of Alkis Kabanos, we have not yet managed to defeat fan violence. We will persevere in this direction more systematically and more intensively."

"But we need more on every level: sports-related, educational, political and, more broadly, social. It is a time of cooperation and effort, not confrontation and argument that offer nothing. They don't reveal or give solutions but conceal and cover up the problem."

He also noted that the problem was deep and European-wide, involving supporters from different countries that had created international networks of violence and operated in many countries.

Economou said that he had ordered the removal and suspension of the head of the department for combatting violence in sports venues, as well as the leaders of the traffic police of Ioannina, the leaders of the three Antirrio-Ioannina highway traffic police departments, and the Achaia and Corinth national highway traffic police.

The match was postponed after a soccer fan's murder.

UEFA is to defer a planned football match between AEK Athens and DNK Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday night following the murder of an AEK fan in sports-related violence the previous day.

A meeting at OPAP arena on the security measures ended with AEK walking out and laying blame for Monday night's events on the Hellenic Police and the Croatian club, accusing DNK Dinamo's management that it had "known everything and allowed it to happen" without informing anyone.

OPAP Arena, Hagia Sophia stadium AEK

AEK CEO Giorgos Kosmas said that the Zagreb club must have known that an entire convoy had left Zagreb. In contrast, he said the Greek police were to blame for allowing this convoy to traverse Greece's length and breadth to meet with their accomplices from a rival Greek team, Panathinaikos and get to the Athens neighbourhood of Nea Philadelphia.

"Dinamo Zagreb and the Greek police are responsible for everything that happened last night," he said before walking out.

READ MORE: Greece Warns Continued Detention of Ethnic Greek Politician Could Jeopardize Albania's EU Bid.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024