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The Handball Fans That Raged in Lamia are Sentenced

04 June 2010 / 09:06:25  GRReporter
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Two of the five fans of PAOK were in the dock for taking part in the vandal acts in Lamia hours before the handball game between the teams of AEK and PAOK are sentenced to 15 months in prison and penalty of € 800. The other three defendants are sentenced to 12, 16 and 9 months in jail. The two fans of AEK are sentenced to more than 12 months in jail. All of the sentences could be cancelled, excluding the one of the AEK’s defendant. The hooligans are accused of aggression, physical injuries, illegal possession and use of weapon. Despite the requests of some of the defenders for continuance, the judges explicitly rejected such an option.

The police was prepared for eventual reaction from organized fans during the trial. It took serious security measures and practically closed off the center of Lamia to guarantee the safety of the court. Policemen from the neighbouring regions supported the action too. The city roads were under control the whole night long. It’s a pity that such measures were not taken earlier having in mind that the information about the fatal Saturday meeting that the fans of AEK and PAOK organized through the Internet was in the net for a week before the finals. Unfortunately, the police didn’t take the news for serious. The head of the police in Ftiotida stated for the mass media that he had heard of such a rumour but didn’t pay attention to it, because he hadn’t any proofs for that meeting.

The police refused to take for serious not only the information about the meeting but the warning of the Greek handball federation concerning the need of serious security for the playground. As a result it was flooded with hooligans and ruined by them. They broke in the hall without being checked at the entrance. Checks were impossible as the policemen ware fewer in number than the fans.

The terrible act began even during the warming up – huge fireworks, bombs and seats were thrown to the playground for half an hour. Players, coaches, journalists, referees and ordinary fans were at risk. The president of the federation compared what happened to a war. He commented as surprising the fact that for 20 minutes there was no policeman to arrest any of the hooligans. According to him the police are responsible for not having a plan to cope with the situation. After the morning outrage when there were many injured fans and policemen as well as broken cars and shops the Greek handball federation requested the police to guarantee in writing that the games could be played peacefully. However, there wasn’t any answer in writing. Short after that a meeting between the federation, municipality and police was held. The head of the police assured that it is able to take control over the event and the games can be played. Furthermore, it would be better the games to be played because no one could foresee how the hooligans would react to the news for canceling them. He didn’t sign anywhere though…

Tags: handballsportsentencefansLamiaGreek handball federation
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