Fatal Stabbing in Athens Amid Rival Football Fan Brawl; 96 Arrested in Violent Clashes
Tragedy struck the outskirts of Athens as a Greek football enthusiast lost his life due to a stabbing incident during a brawl between rival club supporters. The tumultuous situation led to the arrest of 96 individuals amidst violent confrontations, as reported by the police on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old victim was swiftly transferred from the suburban stadium to a hospital in Athens, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries, according to law enforcement sources. The conflict between fan groups erupted on Monday evening just before the UEFA Champions League qualifying third round match, pitting the host team AEK Athens against the Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb.
Greek police stated, “A grave incident occurred outside the Nea Filadelfeia stadium,” elaborating that “a young Greek man was stabbed to death and six other injured people are in hospital.”
Among the wounded were three Greeks and five Croats, with one minor sustaining head injuries from a thrown stone, as per public television channel ERT.
The Ministry of Citizen Protection disclosed that opposing fans engaged in violent clashes near the stadium, involving stun grenades, stones, incendiary devices, and other makeshift weapons, some even wielding bats. The conflict reportedly commenced approximately an hour and a half after the visiting team concluded their training session and left the field under police escort.
Investigations are underway, and the arrested individuals are set to face the state prosecutor on Tuesday, according to reports from Greek news agency ANA.
Regrettably, instances of fan-related violence have marred several past Greek football events. In response, the government increased the maximum penalty for fan violence-related offenses from six months to five years after a previous fatal stabbing incident. In February 2022, a 19-year-old named Alkis Kampanos lost his life in Thessaloniki during a confrontation between supporters of rival clubs Aris Thessaloniki and PAOK. This incident marked the third fan violence-related death in Thessaloniki within a three-year span.
Last month, seven defendants were found guilty of Kampanos’ murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Furthermore, five individuals received sentences exceeding 19 years for their involvement in the crime.