A disciplinary judge has today fined both Panathiniakos and Olympiacos for their fans’ behaviour during the Final Four held recently in Istanbul.
The judge concluded that the incidents, though isolated, were detrimental to the image of the sport and to the values upheld on a otherwise highly consistent basis throughout the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season.
The Euroleague will dedicate the proceeds of these fines to work with both clubs and their fans on measures to avoid such incidents in the future.
Several Panathinaikos fans were involved in various fights with local Istanbul Police officers during the Final Four and one Panathinaikos fan was rumoured to of beaten up an Olympiacos supporter and take his shirt and scarf. He added insult to injury by wearing the stolen shirt and scarf as trophies.
Panathinaikos Athens were fined 100,000 euros for the violent incidents that occured over the Final Four weekend.
The Judge said: “Considering the amplitude of the incidents and of the violent clashes in the surroundings of the arena during the 13 May 2012 as well as bearing in mind its history of infringements during the whole 2011-2012 season, there is no doubt that Panathinaikos has remarkably important issues with the supervision of its fans in general and with the prevention of violence, in particular,” the decision says. “Taking into account the number of persons involved (between 200 and 300 hundred, representing an impressive proportion of fans who had travelled to Istanbul), Panathinaikos cannot reasonably allege that the said incidents were the act of just a few bullies.
“In sport, the spirit of fair play and good sportsmanship must prevail and violence in verbal as well as physical attacks must be banned. Too many fans of Panathinaikos repeatedly and willingly disregard those fundamental values.”
Olympiacos Piraeus were fined 15,000 euros for the invasion of the court by their fans.
Euroleague Basketball says that it takes the disciplinary judge’s ruling with the utmost seriousness and concern for the safety and enjoyment of our teams and fans and communicates within the deadline granted, in accordance to the regulations. Out of respect for them and our sport, Euroleague Basketball will be soliciting stricter measures to all participating clubs, including automatic suspension from participation in future competitions, for repetition of such incidents.
Euroleague Basketball also believes that this violence is intolerable and not only degrades the sport of basketball but works against sporting values and the industry as a whole.