Gov't: Funding cut-off unless football clubs tackle hooliganism

"The state will stop funding the Greek football, as early as the next super league, unless the June 3 general assembly of the Greek Football Federation (EPO) proceeds with a reform of its disciplinary code," Deputy Culture & Tourism Minister Giorgos Nikitiadis stressed on Monday.
After meeting in his office with General Secretary for Sports Panos Bitsaxis and EPO President Sofoklis Pilavios, Nikitiadis expressed the state's determination to face hooliganism head on, underlining that it is a social phenomenon.

The meeting was held in response to the violent clashes between police and rampaging football supporters before and after a Super League football Cup final between AEK FC and Atromitos FC at the Athens Olympic Stadium on Saturday evening.

Nikitiadis, whose portfolio includes sports, underlined that the new code should include strict penalties for football teams in case of violence in the stadiums.
In a related development, Supreme Court Deputy Public Prosecutor Anastasios Kanellopoulos on Monday announced the launch of an urgent preliminary inquiry into AEK-Atromitos final.

Kanellopoulos, who has been placed in charge of sports-related violence and stadiums, intends to call representatives of all clubs, supporters and police commanders in order to investigate to what degree they may have been responsible for the incidents, which also drew negative comments abroad.

Finally, an Athens court on Monday handed down suspended sentences of between 3 and 6 months to three of the 11 individuals arrested in last Saturday’s violent clashes after the Greek Cup Final. They will also have to appear to a police station on their team’s game days.

Other two individuals were acquitted and the remaining five requested to be tried on a later date.
All defendants face charges for use of violence and possession of explosives.

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