Greek government warns of threat to next season

The Greek government says the start of the topflight league next

season is under threat unless football officials take decisive

action to eradicate fan violence.

General secretary for sport Panos Bitsaxis says he is involved

in discussions with the Greek football federation and league

organizers to ensure matches are played ”under civilized


Bitsaxis said Monday that if the talks are fruitless then the

”championship cannot start.”

Greece has been plagued for years by football violence despite

repeated government pledges to crack down on troublemakers.

The Greek Cup final last month between AEK Athens and Atromitos

was marred by extensive rioting after AEK fans invaded the pitch

and fought with Atromitos players.