Greek sports minister close Panathinaikos' famous Gate 13 area.
This week the Greek sports minister Stavros Kontonis decided to close down Panathinaikos' famous Gate 13 area of their Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium, as well as the neighbor sector Gate 14. This part of the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium is usually occupied by 5000 hardcore fans of Panathinaiko, known as "Gate 13".
Panathinaikos immediately accused the sports minister of strengthening "a corrupt system" in Greek Football.
Reason for this decision is said to be a further punishment after riots on the last derby against Olympiakos in November 2015.
That match was called off before kickoff due to riots inside and outside the stadium.
(Photo from Panathinaikos - Olympiakos November 2015)
This week the sports minister not only closed the ultras stand, they also fined Panathinaikos with further 90,000 euros.
Before this week Panathinaikos has already been deducted three points, forfeited the match with a 0-3 scorline, received a four-match supporter ban and been fined 190,000 euros by the league authorities.(This is the part of the stadium which is now closed)
Together with the new punishments this week, Panathinaikos announced this message:
"Unfortunately, Panathinaikos believed last year's statements from Mr Kontonis about restoring the credibility of the long-suffering football scene, but as it turns out, he is anything but interested in that, instead reinforcing the operations of the corrupt system."
Fans of Panathinaikos is definitely not satisfied with this new punishment, especially not when their stand is closed down. It will be interesting to see their reaction against the sports minister.