Fans riot after Volos thrown out of Greek league
Rioting football fans attacked offices of Greece’s governing
party and clashed with police in the central town of Volos on
Tuesday after the local team and fellow first division club Kavala
were thrown out of all professional leagues over a match-fixing
Police said some 3,000 Volos supporters marched through the city
center, setting rubbish bins on fire and throwing stones at the
offices of the Socialist Party and a local Socialist lawmaker.
Riot officers guarding the buildings were also attacked, and
fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. There were no immediate
reports of arrests or injuries.
Earlier, the sports ministry’s Commission for Professional Sport
said it would not issue the necessary permit for Volos and Kavala
to play in Greece’s three professional leagues – four days before
the opening of the new season.
A commission announcement said there had been no ”substantial
change” in the ownership of the provincial clubs, whose chairmen
have been banned for life from football after being charged with
match-fixing and money laundering.
There was no announcement on who would replace Volos and Kavala
in the 16-team first division.
Earlier this month, the two clubs had won an appeal against
their relegation by the Greek Football Association over the
”We are all determined to end violence and corruption in Greek
football,” Pavlos Geroulanos, a minister responsible for sport,
said Tuesday. ”Today’s decisions are a sign of that determination
… We will use every tool at our disposal.”
More than 60 club officials, players, businessmen and others are
under investigation in a Greek corruption probe, launched after
UEFA gave authorities a report citing irregular betting patterns,
mostly involving Greek Cup and second division games in 2009 and
2010. Ten people are in custody.
Greece has sought emergency assistance in dealing with football
corruption from UEFA, whose chairman Michel Platini discussed the
issue with Prime Minister George Papandreou during talks in Athens
The scandal emerged with Greece battling a major financial
crisis, forcing authorities to promise to take a tougher line
against corruption by public officials and prominent
Volos finished in fifth place last season, but was kicked out of
the Europa League by UEFA over the scandal. Kavala came
Several European countries are investigating match-fixing and
betting scandals, including Italy and Turkey.