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Greek government pulls plug on soccer sponsorship

  • AP, Wednesday, March 31, 2010 12 AM

The Greek government suspended the national betting monopoly's sponsorship of Greece's Super League worth $54 million in response to persistent crowd violence at and around games in a move the league called "financial blackmail."

"OPAP has no reason to advertise itself through a violent and utterly vile product," General Secretary for Sport Panayiotis Bitsaxis said. He described soccer as dominated by "the law of the jungle, violence and fanaticism."

Fans have been banned from traveling to away matches. Clubs face relegation or an outright ban if they fail to control their fans.

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