Greek football fans to need mobile phones for ticket purchases

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Next month football fans in Greece will have to use a state-run digital identification app on their mobile phone to buy tickets for matches in a government move aimed at tackling violence.

The measure is part of a crackdown on sports-related violence that forced football clubs to close their stadiums for two months until February 12.

It was ordered after a police officer was shot with a flare during a fan riot in Athens last month, before later dying in hospital from his injuries.

Greek Sports Minister Yiannis Vroutsis presented details of the new ticketing rules to a parliamentary committee, confirming that stadiums will re-open on February 13.

“So far, we have not been able to do something that’s obvious: To identify people who are entering a stadium,” Vroutsis said in an interview with state-run television, according to the Associated Press.

“With the help of a mobile phone, a person’s ID can be automatically cross-checked with a ticket.

“Anyone without a cellphone won’t get into the stadium.”

Vroutsis said the new ticket system, which will take the form of an electronic pass, will have to be installed by all 14 top-division clubs by April 9.

Another security measure is also due to follow, with the mandatory installation of surveillance cameras at all stadiums given a deadline of March 6.

“From now on, when a supporter watches a soccer game, we will know his or her name, phone number, home address and assigned seat,” Vroutsis said.

Other measures include spot bans of supporters at stadiums following violent incidents, a national registry of supporter club members, and new rules banning entry to children under the age of 15
unless accompanied by an adult.

Separate arrangements are set to be made for foreign fans not registered with the digital identification programme that wish to attend games.

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