Indignants Soccer Fans Cause New Controversy!

Indignants are not only confined to Syntagma Square, apparently they are also fanatic soccer fans. The first strong signal was given at the weekend in four of six games in the Super League. New slogans against the policies of the George Papandreou socialist government were introduced and huge banners were raised, and caused several games to be delayed or stopped until they were taken down. The banners apparently raised much controversy, especially in the Olympic Stadium, because according to UEFA regulation, or so they say, it is prohibited to raise banners with political or racist content at soccer games. When the banners were raised organizers, and gave orders to stop or delay the game until they went down. This obviously angered fans, and more banners began being raised.

It all started last Friday night when fans of Panathinaikos raised a huge banner during a soccer match. The banner read “Politicians, Hustlers, Parliament of the Settled Ones, The Anger of Rebels will drown you. Christos Mitsios, the referee in this match, called for a sudden break in the game until the banner was taken down in the 36th minute of the game. It did and the game continued, but the fans began to chant slogans against the government and politicians in general. When the game was finished, Panathinaikos fans got the shock of their lives when exiting the game since roadblocks were raised and all cars coming and going to the stadium were checked for this banner. Two Panathinaikos fans were taken to police headquarters and questioned and later released.

This whole scene only angered fans (and for good reason) and it continued on through the weekend at other games as well.

Saturday afternoon at Peristeri, fans of Atromitos chanted slogans against the Greek Prime Minister and the Government.

On Sunday in New Smyrni at a game between Panionios Olympiakos, fans began calling PASOK… BATSOK (meaning the government of brutal force). Another banner was raised saying “Down with the junta BATSOK”. Unlike the previous game, referee Elias Spathas did not ask the fans to take down the banners be hid did ask that offensive slogans stop and several recommendations were also made by the speakers.

In Heraklion, Crete, where the governing PASOK party once reigned, fans of OFI erected banners saying “The people do not want you, take your Troika and Go!» and the slogan “let it burn let it burn the bordello parliament let it burn” was also heard. This prompted the referee in this game to stop the match and ask for the banners to be taken down.

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