Greece has suspended their top soccer league due to violence:
The new Greek government suspended competition in the top-flight Super League indefinitely after violence at a weekend match between the top two football clubs in the country.
Sunday’s game between bitter Athens city rivals Panathinaikos and away team Olympiakos was marred by a pitch invasion despite a heavy police presence.
The players and officials of Super League leader Olympiakos were also pelted with various projectiles and flares amid ugly scenes.
Good thing Europeans aren’t completely soccer crazy, or that Greeks aren’t already pissed off at the continuing economic crisis or successive governments telling them precisely the lies they want to hear.
(An aside: This is an actual sentence on CNN.com: “Following these incidents, the ruling Syriza Party has made its decision to impose a suspension, which will be the third team [sic] this season that Greek football has been halted.” That’s some mighty fine proofreading, CNN…)
I think this is footage from the scene:
Evidently Greek government is as incompetent at maintaining a “heavy police presence” as it is at everything else except deficit spending.
Soccer hooliganism is hardly a novel phenomena in Europe, but I suspect this incident gives us a glimpse of the widespread simmering anger in Greece over the perpetual debt crisis. Having been brought to power by that anger, it looks like Syriza is badly underestimating its depth and how to manage it. If they were smart, they’d be far wiser to let some of it boil off in soccer brawls rather than let it keep building without an outlet.
In a country that can no longer afford bread, it’s deeply unwise to start banning circuses…