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One dead in Greek hooligan clashes

A young football fan was fatally stabbed and two others were injured yesterday in an organised hooligan clash on the island of Crete, local police said.

The young fan had been struck repeatedly with a knife in the fight between some 30 supporters of local outfit OFI on one hand, and an unlikely alliance between Panathinaikos, their arch-rivals Olympiakos Piraeus, and local Div IV club Herodotus.

The rival groups attacked each other with stones, knives and crowbars, police said. Six people were arrested.
Greek sport has been plagued by violence for decades, usually centred around football and basketball but occasionally affecting other events such as waterpolo, volleyball and handball.

A mix of tougher laws and closer cooperation with clubs has failed to make a difference.

Three years ago, a 25-year-old Olympiakos fan was ambushed in a cafeteria in Loutsa, near Athens, and was stabbed to death by four Panathinaikos supporters.

Then, in 2007, another 25-year-old fan died in an pre-arranged clash involving around 300 Olympiakos and Panathinaikos supporters in Peania, east of Athens, ahead of a women's volleyball match.

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