ATHENS – A day after the Parliament approved a bill to allegedly get tougher on sports violence, Greek police said they arrested four members of a soccer hooligan gang and were looking for two others.
They face a long list of felonies, typical of those arrested over violence at sports events and on the street, with no reports of jail time after the government said even those convicted are allowed to go home.
Among those arrested is a 27-year-old woman who is thought to be gang’s leader and is known to authorities over her alleged criminal activity, no name given nor what charges she had faced before.
The group was allegedly active from April 2019 until September 2021 in Athens and Piraeus operating in gangs of 15 to 40 people attacking fans of rival teams with knives, bats, iron rods and petrol bombs.
It wasn’t said which team they support although, ironically, Greek team rosters are filled with foreign mercenaries with no other ties to Greece or the city in which the team plays.
Fans are also allowed to bring flares and weapons into stadiums, including objects to throw at rivals or players or coaches, which frequenet violence and clashes with riot police on the field and rarely any penalties.
Sme victims of such attacks have allegedly identified the perpetrators, said Kathimerini, adding that officials also subpoenaed the suspects’ telephone records to establish links between the supposed gang members, attack plans and the woman’s role as a ringleader.