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Cyprus

Suspended Sentence for Greek Soccer Fan Club Owner Who Violated Ban

THESSALONIKI – Greece’s alleged crackdown on soccer clubs being used as hooligan bases to plan violence against rivals brought only an eight-month suspended sentence for the owner of one who kept his open.

He was not identified despite being sentenced, nor was it said which team it supported but Kathimerini reported he was 46 and was arrested by police who found about 20 people watching a game there.

He argued that they weren’t there to watch the game but to help close the premises weeks after authorities ordered the closing of some fan clubs in the wake of the killing of a 19-year-old student in Thessaloniki, said over a bitter soccer rivalry.

Police arrested a dozen people reportedly fans of the PAOK team in Greece’s second-largest city and the victim, Alkis Kambanos, a supporter of the arch-rival Aris, who was beaten and stabbed.

Despite promises to get tough on soccer clubs and stamp out violence around the game there have been other incidents of fans attacking others but no names are ever given in the reports about trouble.

 

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NICOSIA — The government of Cyprus wants the legal power to prohibit fans from soccer matches deemed a security risk and to ban organized fan groups if they're not under the supervision of soccer club authorities, the country's justice minister announced on Friday.

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