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Greece to introduce special measures to combat crowd violence in sport

Greece’s conservative government announced on Wednesday new measures to tackle crowd violence in sport, including a digital identification system to buy tickets for events.

Sport in the country has been marred in recent years by deaths and violent incidents.

Other new measures include installing high-definition cameras in stadia and closing venues if an object is thrown onto the pitch.

The electronic identity verification system for supporters will be introduced in early April.

“We don’t want stadiums to close, but if the laws aren’t respected then matches will be played without crowds,” deputy sports minister Yiannis Vroutsis said.

In December, a police officer died after being hit by a flare when rival fans clashed during a volleyball game in Athens.

Stadia across the country were closed following the incident and they will reopen on February 13.

Football in Greece has also recently been plagued by fan violence.

The December 4 league game between Olympiakos and Volos was interrupted by disorder in the stands.

Last July, a teenager was fatally stabbed in a fight in Thessaloniki between supporters of the northern Greek city’s rival clubs, Aris Thessaloniki and PAOK.  

The following month a 29-year-old AEK Athens fan died after being stabbed during clashes between supporters of Dinamo Zagreb and his club on the eve of their Champions League qualifier in the Greek capital.

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