Greek football league president resigns after violence

Greek football league president resigns after violence0

Vangelis Marinakis announced his resignation as president of the Greek Super League on Tuesday, after the government determined that matches will be played without spectators until February 12 due to a string of violent incidents.

“I have neither the time nor the desire to continue to be involved in the management of the league while the words of certain board members are not consistent with their actions,” Marinakis, the owner of Olympiakos, wrote to the Greek league’s board of directors in a letter.

Marinakis also owns the English Premier League club Nottingham Forest.

The Greek government said on Monday that games will be played behind closed doors for the next two months as police increase security at stadiums to combat violence.

“I unequivocally condemn all forms of violence, both in society and in football,” Marinakis, 56, wrote in his resignation letter, promising to rid Greek football of “the criminal elements that are killing it.”

The administration made the decision to prohibit spectators after a police officer was severely hurt last week when he was hit with a flare as rival fans clashed during a volleyball game in the capital.

An 18-year-old man was apprehended and taken into custody.

Marinakis went on to criticize “certain people” for not contributing to the fight against violence, without elaborating.

“I tried to create professional refereeing…  and all this with the agreement of the vast majority of teams,” he wrote in his letter.

“But it seems that certain people don’t want to change it.”

Last weekend’s top-flight games were canceled when referees refused to officiate in protest at what they called hazardous working conditions.

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