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Athens is ready for the Champions League Final > Welcome! May 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Greece took another step in its preparations to host soccer’s Champions League final in Athens on May 23, as it was revealed plans are in place to segregate rival fans from the moment they arrive in the city.

Officials at Athens International Airport said that more than 50,000 fans of English team Liverpool and Italian side AC Milan are expected to fly into the Greek capital between May 21 and 23. Some 60 percent of fans are expected to arrive on the day of the game.

Only 34,000 of those supporters will have tickets for European soccer’s biggest game and authorities are concerned about the possibility of fans without tickets clashing. As a result, a plan has been drawn up to keep apart the two groups of fans from the moment they arrive.

Liverpool fans arriving on the day of the game will travel to the Olympic Stadium by bus whereas AC Milan supporters will be guided onto trains. The supporters will also be given colored bracelets that, in conjunction with color-coded signs, are designed to help supporters get back to the airport the same way.

Meanwhile, 150 police officers from England will be accompanying the Liverpool fans on their trip. This squad will include 11 undercover “spotters” who will mix with fans and identify troublemakers so authorities can remove them.

Greek Police Chief Anastassios Dimoschakis met with British Ambassador Simon Gass on Tuesday to discuss security for the final. Dimoschakis asked British authorities to deter fans without tickets from traveling and for the British Embassy to be on alert for the final.

Italian police officers are also expected in Athens and will be present at the Olympic Stadium during the game.

Police sources said that Greek officers had asked their British and Italian counterparts to make it clear to supporters without tickets that they will not be allowed near the stadium.

Some 10,000 police officers will be on duty for the final and a further 14,000 will be on standby.

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