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Greek Police Officer Succumbs to Injuries From Hooligan Attack

Greek police officer hooligans
A flare shot by a hooligan severed a thigh artery in the 31-year-old officer. Credit: AMNA

A Greek police officer has succumbed to injuries caused by a flare shot during an attack by hooligans on riot police outside a volleyball stadium in Rentis near Piraeus on December 7th.

The 31-year-old officer had been hospitalized at Nikaia General Hospital, where he was sedated, intubated, and supported with mechanical ventilation. Due to the severity of his injuries, he underwent leg amputation earlier this month.

An eighteen-year-old has been arrested and is facing charges of attempted manslaughter in connection with the incident.

Citizen Protection Minister Yannis Oikonomou expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased officer.

“The apprehension of all those involved in his murder, at every level, is the least we can do to honor his memory and a necessary response to the Greek society’s demand for justice,” he said in a statement.

The Greek government recently unveiled measures aimed at addressing sports-related violence.

Less than two weeks ago, a twenty-nine-year-old police officer from the DIAS motorcycle unit was killed during a car chase in Aspropyrgos in western Attica.

Greek hooligans responsible for several deaths

Greek football is plagued by endemic fan violence, which often spreads to other sports, including basketball and volleyball, of the main clubs.

In February 2022 in Thessaloniki, nineteen-year-old Alkis Kambanos was murdered by a gang of people, who attacked him and his friends in public out on the street. The assailants, supporters of the football club PAOK, asked Kambanos and his friends what football team they supported.

The answer did not satisfy them, and they proceeded to beat and stabbing with knives Kambanos and his two friends.

In August 2023 Michalis Katsouris, a fan of AEK Athens, was stabbed to death during a brawl with hooligans of the Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb.

Police said nearly a hundred people were arrested after the violent clashes, which led European football’s governing body, UEFA, to postpone the Champions League qualifying third-round, first-leg match between the two sides.

Since 1983, when the first death was recorded, at least thirteen people have lost their lives in Greece as a result of football hooligan violence and a plethora of violent attacks against rival football team supporters or the police have taken place.

However, the difference between the recent attacks with the ones that happened more than a decade ago is that hooligans are now better organized and use social media to recruit new members and coordinate their campaigns of violence.

Moreover, according to analysts, the profile of hooligans in Greece in no way resembles to the profile of the ones in other countries, for example, such as in the UK in the eighties. Hooligans in Greece are largely independent of football teams and are considered criminals with deep connections to other illicit activities.

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