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Greece launches hooligan initiative

Published: Wednesday 5 March 2003, 16.45CET
Greece's sports minister, George Lianis, has announced new measures aimed at reducing violent incidents.
Published: Wednesday 5 March 2003, 16.45CET

Greece launches hooligan initiative

Greece's sports minister, George Lianis, has announced new measures aimed at reducing violent incidents.

George Lianis, Greece's sports minister, has announced that closed circuit cameras will be introduced at major football fixtures this weekend in a bid to reduce violent incidents.

Target groups
After a week which has seen the country's most successful club coach the target of death threats, Lianis announced plans to target the hardcore supporters' organisations believed to be behind the majority of trouble. "As of this Sunday, we're going to start filming club supporters. Our objective is to break up some organised supporters associations," he said. "Every Sunday, criminal activities are carried out in the stadiums."

Increasing problems
There have been a number of problems in Greece in recent years, including crowd trouble, allegations of corruption and falling attendances. The government has come under increasing pressure to take action ahead of the 2006 Olympic Games in Athens, and launched an investigation into individual club finances, with an audit due in April.

'I'm not leaving'
AEK Athens FC coach Dusan Bajevic, who has won five league titles, said on Sunday that he had received anonymous death threats instructing him to leave his post. However, despite this, the coach remained defiant, saying: "I'm not leaving AEK now, especially not when they are sending me bullets at my house."

Local rivalry
The Serbian coach has been heavily criticised by some sections of the Athens crowd since his return in September, who have not forgiven his decision to leave the club for fierce rivals Olympiakos Piraeus FC in 1996.

Immediate test
The new measures will come under immediate scrutiny on Sunday as AEK visit Olympiakos Piraeus FC in a fixture that has been the scene of some of the worst instances of violence in recent seasons.

Last updated: 10/12/17 6.38CET

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