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Greece suspends professional football due to fears of crowd violence

Football News | Article posted on February 25th, 2015

Greece’s professional football leagues have been suspended indefinitely in a bid to crackdown on crowd violence, the top-flight Super League announced on Wednesday.
The move follows a pitch invasion at the end of the Athens derby last weekend and a Super League board meeting which ended in a brawl on Tuesday, with Greece’s recently elected Syriza party aiming to stamp out the problem of crowd violence.
“What we have been informed is that the Super League and the Football League have been suspended indefinitely,” said Super League president Giorgos Borovilos.
“We have a new government who are looking to bring this subject up for discussion and implement state laws related to it.”
Greece’s sports minister, Stavros Kontonis, met the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, on Wednesday to discuss the matter and held meetings with Borovilos, who said it had not yet been decided how long matches would be suspended and on what conditions they would resume.
“The government wants games to start again as soon as possible, but for that they want to see immediate reactions from all of us,” he said. “There will be further discussions between ourselves, the board of the Hellenic Football Federation and the Football League where we will see how we can build legislative frameworks and implement security measures to ensure football is safe.”
It is the third time this season that professional football in Greece has been shut down. Matches were halted for one week last September following the death of a fan after violent clashes at a third division match between Ethnikos Piraeus and Irodotos.
The authorities also suspended games last November after Christoforos Zografos, the assistant director of the central refereeing committee, was taken to hospital after a violent assault.
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