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Soccer-FIFA and UEFA Threaten Greece with Suspension over New Law

6 May, 2015

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

And you thought soccer parents yelling at coaches and officials was a problem. Two oceans away, a government is trying to crack down on unruly fans – and the national teams may suffer for it.

Greece's Football Federation (the Hellenic Football Federation, or EPO) could be suspended from international soccer over government interference should a proposed new sports law be voted in, FIFA and UEFA have warned.

According to a Reuters article picked up by Yahoo! Sports, Greece’s Football Federation (EPO) could be suspended from international soccer, thanks (or no thanks) to a proposed new law.

Following continuous problems with crowd trouble, the Greek government  proposed new regulations to address violence at sports events. However, FIFA and UEFA have strict rules aimed at protecting member federations' independence ; as a result, those governing bodies have sent a joint letter to EPO president Giorgos Girtzikis warning that it "would have no option but to refer the case to the relevant bodies for immediate sanctions, including the suspension of the Hellenic Football Federation."

The bill, entitled "Measures for the confrontation of violence in Greek sports and other provisions", will be initially reviewed by the Cultural Affairs Committee from April 27-30 and then discussed in parliament on May 4-5. Both FIFA and UEFA have been invited to Athens ahead of the planned three-day discussion of the bill.

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