FIFA’s bete noire is government interference. You can probably guess why. The Greek national federation could face an international ban, if the Greek government moves to crack down on soccer violence.
Proposed legislation would allow the government to impose fines on clubs for violent incidents, potentially up to $25m. It would also allow the government to postpone or cancel matches.
With descriptions like this from a Panathinaikos vs. Olympiakos match in February. It’s clear something needs to be done.
What we saw today, I had never imagined. I had never foreseen that, the moment the team stepped into the pitch, there would be a pitch invasion. And the objects, what can I say? Nails, rocks, bottles…this felt like the bombardment of Iraq,” Marinakis said after the game.
Expect FIFA and UEFA to come to some compromise before Greece is banned. It wouldn’t be an international tournament without Greece throttling three matches with its cynicism. Expect that compromise to contain hollow promises.