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Greek, Croatian FMs Discuss Jailing of Croatian Hooligans in Greece

Greek and Croatian foreign ministers
The foreign ministers of Greece and Croatia spoke on the phone following the jailing on remand of 102 Croatian hooligans arrested for football violence in Athens. Credit: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office / CC BY 2.0 / Ministry of Foreign Affairs / CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The ministers of Foreign Affairs of Greece and Croatia, George Gerapetritis and Gordan Grlić Radman, spoke on the phone following the jailing on remand of 102 Croatian hooligans arrested for the deadly incidents outside the AEK football stadium in Athens on August 7th.

Diplomatic sources told state news agency AMNA that the Croatian minister expressed his sorrow for the death of Greek football fan Michalis Katsouris, who was killed in the violence, and condemned the participation of Croatians in the incidents.

Radman was reportedly confident that Greek justice will investigate the facts fairly, and thanked the Greek state and prison authorities for their cooperation.

On his part, Gerapetritis expressed his conviction that independent Greek justice will examine the case impartially, with respect for the fundamental rights of those remanded in custody.

Police looking for more assailants at large

102 Croatian nationals were ordered jailed pending trial after three days of pre-trial testimonies. Two Greeks and one Albanian are also detained for their involvement in the violence, while one more Greek is wanted for questioning in relation to the case, according to Greek media reports. The police is also looking for more Croatian hooligans believed to still be in Greece, Open TV said.

In his testimony before Athens prosecutors, the 40-year-old Croat who appears to be the leader of the Dinamo Zagreb hooligan group “Bad Blue Boys” claimed that he came to Greece on a flight from Vienna, where he lives, to applaud his team following their practice, but his group was attacked by AEK fans outside the stadium.

He also denied he was the leader of the group of hooligans, AMNA reports.

AEK players arrive in Zagreb for UEFA qualifier with Dinamo

One week after the deadly attack of Dinamo Zagreb hooligans on AEK fans and bystanders outside OPAP Arena in Athens, the AEK football team arrived in Zagreb on Monday ahead of the UEFA qualifier game scheduled for Tuesday evening.

The first game, which was scheduled to take place on August 8th in Athens, was cancelled following the violence.

AEK coach Matias Almeyda told Ant1 TV reporters that the team will be playing in Zagreb “for our club and for the family of the boy who lost his life [in the attack].”

Journalist Ioannis Santorinaios, who is accompanying the mission in Zagreb, posted on Facebook that the team was escorted by several police cars in Croatia, and strict security is in place in the hotel for their safety.

The next game between the two teams will take place in Athens on August 19th.

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