How to Stops Greeks From Fighting? Take Away Gambling Revenue

This entry was posted by Noel on Monday, 29 March, 2010 at

Crowd violence in a semi-final soccer game between Greek clubs Kavala and Aris Salonica, has caused the country of Greece to suspend revenues earmarked for its professional soccer league, Super League Greece.

The revenues come from the state-controlled betting agency OPAP, which are worth a reported 40 million euros ($54 million) per year. This news is not necessarily surprising as Greek soccer has a poor record of crowd trouble and has been plagued by the problem again this season despite anti-violence advertising campaigns.

Hooligans

Hooligans!

There is a lot about this story that, for my fellow Americans, does not compute. When we have a (relatively rare) fight during a sporting event in one of our stadiums, a team of large men in yellow “Event Staff” jackets, breaks up the fight, kicks you out of the game and sometimes (if the fight is bad enough) will even give you a one way ticket to the local city jail for the night. So we don’t have fights, at least not usually. To have a story about soccer hooligans costing their sport “State Money” is one thing, but to find out that the specific line of money that is being cut is State controlled gambling revenue? That just makes an American turn around and leave the conversation.

eBay gambling

Gambling works a little differently in the States (by niallkennedy)

So for my fellows here in the States, I’ll try to make this story more palatable. While in the US, gambling is sort of frowned upon and limited to places like New Jersey, and California’s version of New Jersey, Nevada; in Europe, gambling is more like playing the lottery. It is just sort of something you do sometimes to test your luck and find a buck. As for hooligans and soccer fights, those are more like bar fights in the US. Young fans who have already had too much to drink go to a football match. Here they drink some more and sometimes, a group of equally drunk fans from the visiting team will be just hammered enough to say something upsetting to the young drunk fans from the local team. All parties being wasted and young enough that they have nothing to lose, start brawling. The same thing would likely happen in the US if not for the fact that beers cost $9.00 a pop and become harder and harder to get every time we do have one of our rare fan fights.

Right now the Greeks are trying to keep opposing fans out of the local stadiums, but that is just punishing the masses for the actions of a few. Instead the Super League would do well to take a page out of America’s book and raise the price of beer. Combine that with America’s no beer after the 75 minute mark and a no entering the stadium while “trashed” policy and many of the hooligans will lose heart for the fight quickly. Either way, I hope that the Greek teams are able to continue operations and find a solution.

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3 Responses to “How to Stops Greeks From Fighting? Take Away Gambling Revenue”

  1. Nikos

    absolutely nothing to do with that. In greece (i’m greek and i go very often to football ground, actually my team is olympiakos)the hools are not drunk at all! beer first of all is not the favorite drink of greeks but anyway in greece there are no pubs or bars like you do have in us or even in uk where i have been. each team hates each other, and each team actually has many member clubs all over greece with fanatic supporters. in these clubs they fight all the time with each other just because of their beliefs..beer is not a thing for them but marihuanna is probably the most along with wine… fans actually smoke marihuanna in the football ground and even in front of the police.. where police justdoesnt do anyjting because if they do usually all fans come against them and things come out of control… actually greek football fans can not compare at all with european instead with turkish fans.. you have to look at this better nextt time…

  2. Hi Nikos, Thanks for that update. I suppose I was bunching English Premier League games that I have attended with that of the Super League. If what you say is true, then I have no way to make what your fans do palatable to American sports fans. Random fighting over a sporting event just doesn’t happen that often over here, and removing the gambling revenue to stop it just makes your country seem all the more whacky to Americans.

  3. I think the world knows that Brazilians love soccer!


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