Greek football violence is alive and well! In fact, it’s so common that locals don’t even pay attention to it any more. The numerous cases of hooliganism in football result in hospitalization, visits to the emergency room, and even death.
The government seems to be helpless in dealing with the problem. Their measures are limited to denouncing the acts of violence.
Greece is among the countries with the highest incidences of football violence, outperforming even England in this gloomy ranking. Why is this? There are many causes of football violence, including low levels of education, fanaticism, poverty, lack of life goals, teenage hormones, social and family problems, lack of belonging, and, finally, simply human nature.
Experts on this issue in Greece appeal to reason, stating that it’s pointless to analyze the causes and authorities should observe the consequences instead. Action is needed, starting with arresting and punishing perpetrators. When you watch a match between two Greek teams on TV, you’ll often see tens of people fighting and fires in the stands.
Ultimately, the only thing that happens is that several people are arrested. At the moment, the police are not punishing anyone. No fines are imposed. Nobody is effectively convicted. They’re not even keeping files with photos of offenders so security can at least exercise face control at the gates.
Whenever a case of football hooliganism occurs, the authorities claim to not have enough manpower to keep football fanatics in check. They blame the private security companies at games. They say these firms get a lot of money, but didn’t fulfill their obligations. The firm, in turn, will say it isn’t their problem because the stadium is public property. The public sector is seriously underfunded in Greece, which accounts for the lack of medical facilities and ambulances at stadiums.
The company might blame the team. Team managers will blame the Greek Football Association, saying it hates their team. The Association blames the fans. In their defense, they claim the referee wronged their team. Referees will complain that they were threatened.
From the media to the government to the bookmakers
The media will be blamed by all parties involved for blowing the incidents out of proportion to increase their sales. People who bet on football and lose are convinced the games are rigged. Opposition parties will accuse the governing majority of using hooliganism to distract the public from more important issues.
Ultimately, the governing majority will denounce the violence and explain they don’t have the resources to deal with its repercussions. Thus, the circle of blame is closed.