With common recommendation the need to deal with it fan violence but with variations on the effectiveness of the provisions of the bill, the positions of the rapporteurs of the ND and SYRIZA, during the discussion of the draft law of the Ministry of Education, Religion and Sports on the “Emergency measures to ban the sale of tickets and the presence of spectators at football matches for imperative reasons for the protection of public order and security (A’ 203) – Taking measures to prevent and deal with violence in the context of sports meetings and other arrangements under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Religion and Sports” in the Plenary.

The rapporteur of the ND Iason Fotilas stated that “today’s legislative initiative validates the prime minister’s immediate response to the need tightening of security measures while conducting sports meetings following the horrific events of December 2023 which resulted in another life being mourned.” He emphasized that “the phenomenon of fan violence and taking measures to deal with it are high on the agenda of the government’s work” and, addressing all the parties, he underlined that “fighting the phenomenon of fan violence requires countermeasures that must be found all united”. Analyzing the provisions and the main axes of the bill, the MP said that it “has provisions for dealing with fan violence as well as the digital transition of sports and its reformation in general. This bill is currently a very important addition to the country’s sports legislation. Because an organized effort is being made, through which the framework of sports meetings is tightened and a series of legislative gaps are filled”. I. Fotilas acknowledged that “the administrative measures and penalties outlined in the bill may be severe. But it is a given that they will be applied in full. However, real success in tackling the phenomenon of violence and hooliganism will only come if we all work together. If we all together show our toughest face to every minority who thinks that the field is a battlefield. The sole aim of the bill, he said, “is to contribute substantially to the modernization of our sports legislation. At the same time, it tackles with rigor the phenomenon of fan violence and promotes the whole of sports with important reforms” and ended by saying that “we can say that we want to change everything without actually changing anything, without moving a single stone. But that’s not what we’re here for. Our job is to offer even a “stone” on the path of improving the lives of our fellow citizens. If we find common ground here, we will still achieve more. Cooperation and concerted action should be at the core of our effort for a meaningful result.”

SYRIZA’s rapporteur Alexandros Meikopouloss began his presentation by stating, as he said, “the unacceptable situation they are in “hostages” for many years dozens of football players who have been waiting for more than ten years to collect their earnings from the State while in the meantime they have lost homes, property and, unfortunately, some have attempted suicide,” and announced a legislative initiative that his party would undertake.

Mr. Meikopoulos, referring to the draft law, argued that it is the multiple intervention of the Government for fan violence but, as he said, “how can you expect that you will have a different result after using the same recipe as the previous one. A recipe that contains enough communication and minimal substance.” The MP argued that “the drawing up of long-term and effective policies requires a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of fandom and the admission of the social origins of violence. It presupposes the institutionalization and above all the implementation of prevention measures and social interventions. Which there are none of these in the bill.” He suggested information and awareness. Building a healthy sports fan culture through education and family. Activation of bodies and services for extroverted actions, assistance of social workers, highlighting of the alternative voices that exist within the fan space for the creation of a different culture of the stand. Ending the takeover and hostage taking of the fan area by organized crime. He disagreed “with the horizontal, authoritarian and ineffective measure of holding football matches behind closed doors, only to open them on February 12 without essentially changing anything. From March, April, and we’ll see.” He called for the gradual disengagement of the police from the conduct of sports meetings and their limitation to their predetermined and coordinated role as, as he observed, “in all serious European countries the safe conduct of a sports match is the responsibility of the teams, while its guarding is undertaken by security companies hired by anonymous sports companies”. With this draft law, however, added the SYRIZA rapporteur, “not only is the Greek Police not relieved of responsibilities and powers, but it is in fact charged with further work and turns the police into employees of the PAE”. He called it “incomprehensible the repeal of paragraph 5 which provided for additional monetary penalties – in addition to the criminal ones provided for – and the amnesty of publishers, owners and managers of mass media when they cultivate fan violence”. As for the arrangements regarding fan clubs, he estimated that “the venture will end in failure at its birth”. He characterized as photographic the provision for the extension of the granting of A’ coaching diplomas to other than TEFAA graduates. Regarding the provisions concerning the hiring of a manager-coordinator at the Kavtanzoglio stadium, Mr. Meikopoulos said that “I am very afraid – given the policy and actions of this government in OAKA – the position of the manager-coordinator is obviously created to facilitate the concession of the sports grounds to private individuals and, in essence, the exclusion of mass sports in the stadium areas. Something that will find us opposite”. The SYRIZA rapporteur, in closing, stated that “this bill is not the product of a substantial and inclusive consultation, but serves reasons of topicality. It does not focus on the root of the problem and postpones, after all, the treatment of violence to another bill, by another Minister, in the near future.”

The debate continues with the positions of the special buyers of the Opposition parties.