ATHENS – With prosecutions against the alleged killers of a 19-year-old student who was a fan of a rival soccer team in Thessaloniki still in limbo, Greek police arrested four minors after an attack on a 16-year-old following a game in the Piraeus suburb of Nikaia.
That match was between rivals Ionikos and Panaitolikos, minor teams who aren’t among the elite in Greece’s scandal-stained soccer leagues that had been accused of match-fixing and seen repeated violence.
Police said that a group of some 15 people left the stadium and approached the 16-year-old and his friends in a nearby square, the victim trying to escape before he was tackled by the gang who demanded to know what team he liked.
That was the same as happened in Thessaloniki where Alkis Kambanos, a fan of the Aris soccer team, was beaten and stabbed in the leg with a curved karambit knife in an assault by some 10 people, dying when he bled out.
The attackers were said to be fans of the team PAOK, the irony being that most teams in the Greek league have few Greek players, mostly signing mercenaries from other countries. PAOK’s owner has had an arrest warrant on him out for years for bringing a gun onto a match during a championship game, but gone unprosecuted.
They then reportedly beat him and tried to steal his phone, leaving him so injured he had to be hospitalized, said Kathimerini. Police said they identified the suspects but wouldn’t name them although they were taken to a prosecutor for a hearing.
The history of such incidents in Greece means this could likely the last time there’s any news about as it is commonplace, the attack coming after the New Democracy government swore to stop soccer hooligan violence but can’t.