The emergency interministerial meeting on fan violence chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis Saturday at the Maximos Mansion has concluded, with statements from the government’s spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis expected on Monday, local media reported.
According to reports, the government is – yet again – considering possible measures to combat hooligan violence inside and outside venues, two days after the serious injury of a 31-year-old police officer during violence outside a top-flight men’s volleyball game between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos in the near-Piraeus district of Rentis.
In addition, the government is considering revoking the decision it made last August which allowed police officers to be posted outside the club buildings of football fans; the police union has requested its revocation out of fear for their members’ lives.
Another scenario is the suspension of professional leagues. While it seems a radical decision, the government is not ruling it out, saying that the Prime Minister’s decisions will be strict as “there is no other way”.
Police officer in critical condition
The 31-year-old police officer is in a medically-induced coma in the ICU of a Piraeus-area hospital. According to the latest hospital announcement, “the patient remains in critical condition, hospitalized in the ICU under sedation and mechanical ventilation.”
According to police, hooligans came out of the indoor sports arena firing missiles, firebombs and flares directly at police officers, resulting in serious injury to one officer.
An 18-year-old man was charged on Sunday with the near-fatal shooting of a police officer with a flare gun on Thursday.
Police said the suspect was among 424 individuals detained after a top-flight volleyball game outside the Renti venue, as police took fingerprints and DNA samples as well as conducting gunpowder residue tests to find the perpetrator.
According to media reports, the teen suspect claimed he was given the loaded flare gun by an unknown man wearing a ski mask and told to fire it at the police. He also said the same man mustered other young fans to attack police outside the indoor arena where the volleyball game was taking place. Police are now searching for the person who allegedly provided the 18-year old with the flare gun.