Home News Greek police to use dogs against hooligans

Greek police to use dogs against hooligans

Published on 11/02/2009

ATHENS – Greek police are to enlist specially-trained dogs to curb the hooliganism that has chronically plagued the nation's sports, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

"Until now dogs were only used to find explosives, drugs and missing people," spokesman Panagiotis Stathis told AFP.

"Now they will also be used in sports stadiums," he said.

He said the dogs would likely be obtained Germany and Belgium in Europe or from the United States.

The department currently has a detail of 150 sniffer dogs but they have not been trained to immobilise crime suspects, he said.

Greek daily Ta Nea on Wednesday reported that the plan was currently under consideration by the Council of State, the country’s top administrative court.

Hooliganism – mainly in football but increasingly spreading to other sports such as basketball, volleyball and waterpolo – has persisted in Greece despite a decade-long struggle by the state.

Past measures include surveillance cameras, forbidding mass excursions by fans to games and assigning stadium security to the clubs themselves, but even this has failed to eradicate the violence that also occurs outside stadiums.

In 2007, a 25-year-old Panathinaikos fan died in a pitched hooligan battle with supporters of arch-rivals Olympiakos ahead of a women’s volleyball match outside Athens.

[AFP / Expatica]