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Interview with a representative of fan associations Fentagin (Atromitos Peristeri)

Here we'll discuss one of the fastest growing teams in recent years Greece Atromitos Peristeri. Fentagin fan movement is also becoming more numerous. They are largely known for their animal protection actions against the killing of animals for the European Championships in Ukraine and the Olympic Games in Sochi. Anti-fascist banners here be present at each game and have become an integral part of the fan sector.

- Tell us about your city of Athens. What football traditions in your city?

- Athens is the capital of Greece. In this big city there are the suburbs apart from the centre, one of which is Peristeri. Teams can be found both in the centre and the suburbs in which one could find interest in history, in some more and in some less and of course great fans of different numbers. Peristeri is the 4th biggest suburb of the country with more than 500.000 residents,many of which are immigrants. Peristeri has Atromitos  in football ,and Gymnastic Club Peristeri  in basket which are the basic teams in Peristeri.

In this suburb you can still find small teams of neighbouring areas of the city without much of a history and supporters  who belong to unprofessional clubs with no special goals.

-  When was your team established? Tell us a few words about its history the team

- Atromitos was established in May 1923 in Victoria,an area close to the centre of Athens. However,since it could not grow as a club (because of the existence of Panathinaikos),the establishers decided to transfer the team to Peristeri, which back then did not have any team. The name itself means «The Formidable».

The history of the team is rich, not only when it comes to the sport events but also as far as social events are concerned. How could it not be, given the fact the Peristeri has influenced the team with its history and traditions directly.

As far as the sport field is concerned, the team has been in the first category for the last 9 years and year by yearit is improving, maintaining the posisitions between the 3rd and the 6th.The two memorable moments are the cup finals in 2011 and 2012 and also some European games, the one with Sevilla in 2006 and another with Newcastle last year and this year with Alkmaar,when we were not preconceive due to mistakes of the referee. Many vicotires are considered important-especially the ones who were against strong opponents and we should always remember the moments of delight tha our basketball team has given us, both in Greece and in Europe.

In the history of our team we should also include some bad moments, which were later gave the motivation for more experience and hard work. It is also worth-mentioning the the team has been in the 2nd and the 2rd and the 4th category for the last 28 years,always present with its games and supporters.

The team has also a social-political history as a club and in the area as well. Some important events the concerned the team were,for example the civil war during which Nazis prosecuted players of Atromitos and of another team - Astera Peristeriou because of their political biliefs. This resulted in the merger of the two teams as there was a lack of players and then Atromitos obtained the symbol of the other team-the Star which it maintains up to the present day. Another important event is the participation of players of the team in the fights the took place in the 2nd World War. Moreover Peristeri has a lot of residents-refugees from the disaster of Smyrniin 1922,which has affecte the history of the team as in the last few years thousands of immigrants-workers have crowded our town.
 

- What are your political views?

- As for the political view in Stadium the only common political proposal is tha we are Antifa schists and Antiracists. We are against the parties and factions, however inside the stadium can not define or require a man to follow any particular trend because besides that is not correct, although many of us we have a common believe we have different ideas, so content with the absolute freedom to move based only on the Antifa and Anti-racism, which is inevitable as our ranks there are some immigrants.

- Tell us about the history of your group. What is the origin of Fentagin?

- Fentagin is the 1st club of supporters and the most well known/widespread group in the history of Atromitos and GSP. The group was established in 1980 and its symbol is hooded with star(a symbol which has been used in the last 10 years in the past it was just plain letters).In Arabic  the word Fentagin means ‘fighter’ and almost in every Arab country there are such teams. In this way we wanted to show our dedication loyalty.
The presence of Fentagin was constant, close to their beloved and dynamic team. They did not hesitate to take charge of its aminstration in 1987 and to declare it a winner of the 3rd category. The supporters were always willing to protect their ideas, their team and their neighbourhood - what they will always love.

- What performance are you ready? Do you usually use fireworks?

- In every match we try to have a warm atmosphere as much as possible, depending on the occasion or the opponent team. We try to support our team in every way. We mostly use fireworks and sometimes coreo which are quite expensive. Generally, we try to create a show in every way.
 

- Do you have clubs in other areas?

- As an organization we have 2 clubs at the moment, one below the football stadium and one in the centre of our town. In the past the were some branches of Fentagin in the area of Nea Zoi (neighbourhood of Peristeri)and around, while in the 1990s the action of Prince of West was the main support for the basketball team. More actions were taken by the Blue Warriors and the supporters club of Atromitos. There has never been another organized action out of Peristeri but there are some group that support the team on their own.

-  Are you in contact with St.pauli of Athens? What is your view of the Anti-faschist League?
 

-We were later in contact and  number of our members are in established of st.pauli Athens club but  then some of this contact lost and  Our role is limited only to support general events. Now about theAntifaschist League it is a remarkable motion but disagree in some processes with  the way it done, we respect but do not participate. We believe that every antifascist event is for a good cause.

- Are the several fascist supports in Greece? In peristeri  are there  enough supporters of the fascist Golden Dawn?

- Some fascist group yes , but little show the fascism. The most use the Greek flag as patriotism as a result to show your fascist actions stealthily. In Peristeri as an in every society there are fascists but they do notshow your behaviors. the good thing here is how it happens in peristeri it happens and on the stadium that ,the fascists they don’t have the balls to show your biliefs. Somes times the golden Dawn tried to open offices but never succeed, in the past  before golden dawn became known as business organizations she recieved  two attacks. For  the golden Dawn the Peristeri is considered hazardous area and many times has done warnings to its members.

Now in the stadiums the most times the fans fight for the colours of our team and little for political views.
 

- Are we take part in Antifascist corteos?

- Of course we take part and we are large groups ... But never  take part with t-shirts of our team because we do not want to be objective for the cop feels ,and we believe that this moment n in these situations we are all the same.

-What our view about the murder of Pavlos Fissas?

- Regarding the murder of Pavlos Fissas our view is that Fascists want hangman! And there is not only Fissas but much more the large number of immigrants. In Athens the fascists cooperate with cops that it happens around the world.
 

- In Greece are there hard law by the State for their fans?

-  In Greece unfortunately, there are very aught laws that are normally unconstitutional , the law says for every type of criminal that there imprisonment , but lately  because of the crisis looking to put the fans to pay. Pyros  also is illegal and the tours are banned with few exceptions. Conflicts exists is normal because we hate the cops.

 

- Among fans Atromitos have girls?

- The deal with sexism in the contrasts are seen in some foreign countries as in Germany is still at an embryonic stage to near zero ,we always  respect girls who have in Fentagin and they are respected , as there are we have girls in our group while trying not exist such incidences.

- What is your relationship with the players of the team and the coach? What is the team's financial state? Has it been affected by the crisis?

- Generally, their relationship is neutral, but there are some players who are favored because they do their best for the team. As for their relationship with the administration, it is a typical one and is limited to issues that have to do with the stadium, the tickets, the transportation, etc. We do not wish to get any further help, especially financial one,as we do not provide them with services. The status of our team, financially speaking, is average but it tends to increase. Of course, the economic crisis has affected us all.
 

- Which groups exist in Fentagin? Is it understood that Fentagin is a common organization that includes smaller teams which are united?

 Any groups which exist have their base and ideas in the mentality of Fentagin.  Some of them are-Gruppo di Strada,the West Side Boys, Rock n Roll and Uber Alles.  However,there are some unofficial groups which do not hold a banner and which are of different neighborhoods of Peristeri.

- How much do you spend approximately on every match? How much do the tickets cost? Do you sometimes enter without paying?

 - There is no specific charge, it depends on the game and what we want to be presented to the others. The tickets in our gate cost 10 euros ,sometimes 15 when it is a European match. The all year ticket costs 80 euros. We try to support our team financially in every way. However, the financial state of our country is bad, a lot of people cannot afford to pay for the tickets and therefore they force themselves in, pushing their way through without paying.

- Do you have any organized social project? 

- From a social aspect, we have organized a charity bazaar of food and clothes, forest clean ups and donations of money and clothes to the poor and to different charity organizations. We have also arranged blood donation.

- What do you know about Russian football fan scene?

 - We know that situation here is very difficult concering about Nazis but we know that we have a very good fan scene. We know some antifascist teams like F.C. Karelia (Russia), Partizan Minsk (Belarus), Arsenal Kyev (Ukraine), FC Orsha(Belarus).

-  What are your future plans?

- Just like any other healthy supporter, we wish to be more organized and increase in number, not only as a total. And of course have a lot of Coreo and Pyro shows. We hope our team becomes stronger and reaches a higher level and no doubt we will do more.

- A few words in parting

- Thank you for honoring us. You really made us happy and we would like to thank you for everything you have done

Fanzine  №2

May 2014

 

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