A series of provisions creating a stricter legal framework for dealing with sports fan violence were presented on Monday by Justice Minister Kostas Tsiaras, Civil Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos, Deputy Minister of Sports Lefteris Avgenakis, and government spokesperson Yiannis Economou. According to Tsiaras, the government’s legislative initiatives aim to close all the “windows” within the existing legal framework.
Among others, it was announced that the sentence for crimes of fan violence is being increased from six months to five years. In cases involving dangerous perpetrators, a sentence between two and five years will be imposed. In addition, a special criminal offence is being introduced for those who cover their facial features during a sports match, with a prison sentence of at least six months. It will be prohibited to suspend a sentence for crimes of fan violence, which will be tried as a matter of priority. In the case of a postponement of the trial, the imposition of restrictive conditions will become mandatory.
Civil Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos called on all stakeholders to join forces against violence, gave an account of the actions of the Greek Police over the past two weeks and stressed that the inspections will continue without exception.
Deputy Sports Minister Lefteris Avgenakis,announced the suspension of the operation of all sports team fan clubs and their branches until July 31, 2022.
At the beginning of the briefing, Economou noted that the central priority of the government’s legislative initiatives is the principle of zero tolerance toward all violent and abusive behavior.
On his part, Theodorikakos noted that there must be no other incident like the recent murder of the 19-year-old in Thessaloniki, who was “a victim of this insane violence”.
“It is time to kill the Lernaean Hydra of hooliganism together, as a state and as citizens, to unite our forces. For the Greek Police, the law is a law and applies to everyone,” he underlined.