The Deputy Minister of Sport Stavros Kontonis filed a report to the European footballing body over the provocative banner that fans displayed when Albania played Switzerland at the Euro 2016 tournament that is ongoing in France.
The banner read “GREECE IS GUILTY REMEMBER THE GENOCIDE IN CAMARA 100,000 ALBANIAN VICTIMS.”
The banner claimed the country remains guilty over allegations of genocide of Chams, following WWII. The Greek Deputy Minister sent the complaints to UEFA arguing that the banner was “provocative, defamatory, unhistorical and offensive to Greece.” He questioned how it was raised, given the major security concerns and planning. The so-called ‘Cham issue’ was also raised ahead of the recent official visit to Albania by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias.
The same Deputy Minister had sent a letter to FIFA and UEFA where he brought the issue of security in the Greek football sector and called on them to take the necessary measures in order to find a solution. He claimed the situation of football in the country is “explosive.” He said the government would try to put everything under control to ensure law and order. He claimed he did not concede to people potentially dying or getting hurt at further football games/events.
Greece were on the brink of international sanctions when they cancelled the Greek Cup due to violence. The government was forced to scrape the competition but FIFA and UEFA asked that they do not interfere with footballing matters, hence they reinstate the competition. The sanctions would mean the country’s football clubs would not have been able to partake in continental events. The violence from the fans were much that the riot police would do anything to stop them. The Deputy Minister claimed he wanted to end the violence but had to rescind his decision to save the country.