7th May 2011, Corinth, Greece
Hooligans of Olympiacos shot and injured Panathinaikos fans with Kalashnikof AK-47 assault rifles. The trigger of the event was Panathinaikos’ win in the Eurobasket semifinal, against Siena. Just imagine what would have hapenned if the opponent was Olympiacos!
Today the police arrested a 22 year old, son of a policeman, who is facing charges of illegal use of assault rifles.
Greek Football Cup Final
In a parody of a cup final, hooligans played the first role by entering the pitch on multiple occasions starting one hour before the kickoff, and ending the game 8 minutes before proper time.
The little girl in the following photo says it all.
In view of what has happened in the “final”, the incidents in the Olympiacos – PAnathinaikos game are minor.
This is alarming, as it is clear that we are facing an upward escalation that is extremely dangerous.
The way things are going, I am afraid we will have fatal injuries. This path is leading to murder!
Phase one: “Giorva, get out of here, tonight we fucked you”.
Phrase two: “It is ok Gibril for now. We will meet again next year. Today we have screwed you, we have fucked you……”
Those of you who wonder what the above sentences are, will have an immediate answer. They are phrases uttered by Mr. Marinakis, the Owner and President of Olympiacos FC, and President of the Greek Footabll Superleague to footballers of Panathinaikos, in the aftermath of the game of the two teams, at the end of which Olympiacos supporters entered the pitch and had battles with the visiting team’s players. The exerpt is from the Public Prosecutor’s report.
First Movement: Adagio
This is a story about Greek football. In a sense, it is also a story about today’s Greece. If you have trouble understanding the story, it means you live in a boring country and very straight society.
Lets start with a little bit of background information.
There are many teams in Greek Football, and two of the most popular are Olympiacos and Panathinaikos. The story today focuses on the two teams, although there are many stories to be told about all the other teams.
Olympiacos is the team of the port of Piraeus, and when it was founded it was supported by the working classes.
The team has two nicknames: the first is “legend”, referring of course to the wonderful achievements of the team. The other is “gavros”, which is anchovy fished in the Aegean Sea waters. This nicknmae alludes ot the fact that the supporters of the club are so destitute that they can only afford to eat the cheapest fish there is.
The new owner and president of the club is Mr. Marinakis, a ship owner.
Panathinaikos on the other hand, is the team of Athens, and in the old days it was supported by the middle classes.
The nickname of the team is “vazelos” , meaning the one who is smeared with vaseline. There is of course a strong sexual connotation in this nicknmae, which is typical of the fans of Olympiacos, but has now spread to all fans.
Second Movement: Allegro
On Saturday 19th February the two teams met for the second time this year. The host team was Olympiacos.
The atmosphere in the Stadium George Karaiskakis was more than hot.
The result of the game is 2-1 in favour of Olympiacos.
The star of the game was the referree, Mr. Kalopoulos.
He committed multiple and serious errors that practically shaped the result in favour of Olympiacos.
This is the verdict of all middle of the road and fair minded people, either simple fans or members of the press.
Katsouranis (in photo) scored a perfect goal on the 81st minute, giving Panathinaikos the lead, 2-1. However, Mr. Kalopoulos ruled that the player was off side. The TV shots show that there is no case for off side whatsoever.
Ten minutes later, the referee allowed a goal of Olympiacos, when one player of the attacking team was obviously off side. This was the deciding goal of the match.
Third Movement: Fortissimo
But this was not all. When the game ended, some Olympiacos fans entered the pitch and started having exchanges of physical contact with the PAO footballers. Their distinct preference was Gibril Sisse, the French super star who is leading the scorers’ table and is a league above any other player in Greece. After the attack, Sisse, clearly shaken, declared he is going to leave Greek Football and called the Olympiacos fans who attacked him “barbarians”.
When Mr. Marinakis was asked about these events, he claimed that he was not aware of any wrong doing. Instead, he said he was proud for the way Olympiacos ensured safe passage to Panathinaikos on their way to the dressing rooms. Of course he didn’t say what happened when the visiting team tried to get to the dressing rooms after the end of the game.
Fourth Movement: Sostenuto
The State Prosecutor on 22 February pressed disciplinary charges against Mr. Marinakis. The excerpt that follows comes from the Prosecutor’s statement.
“….Ειδικότερα, κατά τον ανωτέρω τόπο και χρόνο, μετά τη λήξη του αγώνα της εγκαλουμένης ομάδας (της οποίας είναι πρόεδρος) με την ομάδα της ΠΑΕ ΠΑΝΑΘΗΝΑΪΚΟΣ, στο στάδιο Καραϊσκάκη, αφενός μεν, μετέβη στον χώρο των αποδυτηρίων και συνεπικουρούμενος από φίλα προσκείμενα προς αυτόν άτομα, επετέθη φραστικώς και υβριστικώς, και με απειλητικές διαθέσεις κατά ποδοσφαιριστών της αντιπάλου ομάδας του ΠΑΝΑΘΗΝΑΪΚΟΥ και ιδιαίτερα κατά των Σωτ. Νίνη, τον οποίον έσπρωξε βιαίως, του Σισέ και του Τζόρβα, στον οποίον μάλιστα είπε «Τζόρβα, φύγε από εδώ, εμείς απόψε σας γαμήσαμε», αφετέρου δε, δημόσια, δηλ. παρουσία πολλών τρίτων προσώπων, μεταξύ των οποίων και δημοσιογράφων, που δημοσίευσαν τις σχετικές δηλώσεις, απευθυνόμενος στον ποδοσφαιριστή του ΠΑΝΑΘΗΝΑΪΚΟΥ Τζιμπρίλ Σισέ του είπε: «Δεν πειράζει Τζιμπρίλ. Θα τα πούμε του χρόνου πάλι. Σήμερα σας πηδήξαμε, σας γαμήσαμε». Προς δε, με δηλώσεις που έκανε στον τύπο και τις οποίες εδημοσίευσαν οι εφημερίδες, αναφερόμενος κατά τρόπο ειρωνικό και προσβλητικό για τον ως άνω ποδοσφαιριστή Τζιμπρίλ Σισέ εδήλωσε και τα εξής: «Αν θέλει να φύγει ο κ. Σισέ χωρίς φούστες και μπλούζες μπορεί να το κάνει». Οι πράξεις δε αυτές του εγκαλουμένου ενέχουν ιδιαίτερη απαξία, δοθέντος ότι ούτος τυγχάνει και πρόεδρος της Super League…..”
“….on the date and time after the end of the game (he) went to the dressing room of the visiting team Panathinaikos accompanied by people of friendly dispotition to him, and attacked verbally players of the other team, especially Sotiris Ninis, whom he pushed violently, Sisse and Giorva, to whom he said: “Giorva, get out of here, tonight we fucked you”, and then he addressed in the presence of many others, including journalists, the player Gibril Sisse, to whom he said: “It is ok Gibril for now. We will meet again next year. Today we have screwed you, we have fucked you……”
The government minister in charge has said nothing. The government has done nothing over the years against the violence that torments Greek Football. No one has been sent to prison for hooliganism.
Unfortunately for Greek Football as the popular saying goes, “the fish stinks from the head”. It is not like it were in the UK some twenty five years ago, when a wave of violence was met so comprehensively by the Police that it was almost crushed. In Greece the violence is fueled by the hooligan clubs of the teams, which are protected and financed by the temas themselves.
As it happens with the elected government of a country, one can safely say that Greece has the football it deserves.