PtG Article 06.11.2005

Journalist's attacker still not found

"Mr. Syrigos, someone tried to kill you. Do you suspect anyone?" That was the question the Greek police asked sports editor Filippos Syrigos of the newspaper Eleftherotypia the day after he was brutally attacked by two men who hit him over the head and stabbed him several times in the back.

Sports journalism has become a dangerous business in Greece with three attacks on sports journalists in the past year. To highlight this unfortunate development, Play the Game had invited Filippos Syrigos to Copenhagen to talk about the attack and the possible reasons for it.

In October 2004, Syrigos told the police officer – just as he told delegates at Play the Game 2005 – that he had been working on three major reporting issues – all of them sports scandals with the potential to be the reason for the hit against him.

One was the exposure of a scam revolving around the Greek Karaiskaki Stadium where the president of the Olympiacos Football Company S.A. built a lucrative private business on land owned by the state and with money that essentially originated from state funds.

Syrigos had also reported extensively on the Greek doping scandal at the Olympic Games including secret dealings between the IOC and the runners Kenteris and Thanou and their coach Tzekos.

Finally, Syrigos had turned his journalistic spotlight on the dealings of the sport marketing company, Octagon, that seemed to profit extensively from the owner’s close relationship to Gianni Angelopolous, president of the organising committee of the Olympic Games in 2004.

Filippos Syrigos does not want to point the finger at any of these potential suspects without proper evidence. However, a year on from the attack the Greek police has still not arrested anyone for the attack that nearly cost the sports journalist his life.

Filippos Syrigos, Sports editor at the Eleftherotypia in Greece, was nearly killed by unknown assailants


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