Before you all jump on your high horse, this is simply a warning to all Arsenal fans travelling to Athens to see Olympiacos in Greece.
A friend of mine who is an Evertonian went to Athens only this week, to see AEK Athens play Everton in the Europa League. Unfortunately for him and his travelling friends his experience went from fantastic to shocking in only a matter of hours.
After enjoying the local attractions, soaking in some culture and even playing football in the streets, they made their way to the Olympic Stadium in Athens. That’s when things took a turn for the worse, and while on the train wallets got stolen, with money, cards and tickets inside. So after cancelling their cards and sorting out new tickets, they finally walked to the ground.
The out of nowhere, they were attacked by 10 people and mugged.
Here’s a transcript from my friend when I asked what happened:
“What didnt happen more like. Stu’s dad had has wallet robbed on the train with the tickets in. One of the other lads also got done and lost about 200 quid. Once we’d sorted out new tickets for them and cancelled all of the cards we walked upto the ground.
“The next minute some [people] just come flying at me from nowhere. Half punched me in the face - the next minute everyone just got battered and split up and there’s about 10 of them coming at everyone. Stu had his phone robbed and Alty got battered. Saw 10 minutes of the game on a TV in the medical room in the stadium before I went with Alty in an ambulance. Everyone’s ok though. I got lucky - out of 11 of us, me and another lad were the only ones who didnt lose anything or get battered. Fuckin sick.”
And a further transcript here:
“Just never slag the hospitals or police off in this country again.
“I ran to all the police thinking they would help but they were fuckin shit.
“They steal to survive and they don’t care at all about anyone else. We later found out they all had knives etc so it could have been much worse.
“All it would have taken is someone to have a real go back and knock one of them out and we would have probably had stabbings and worse.”
Now the people he was referring to weren’t the locals, but obviously I’m not going to mention the particular race of the attackers as I would be accused of being racist so I’m just warning you that if you are going over, be extremely careful and look after yourself.
I can tell you for a fact that my friend is extremely shaken up by the whole thing and has never encountered such a frightening experience when travelling abroad to watch his team, and he asked me to warn Arsenal fans who would be making exactly the same trip next week.
He told me:
Aren’t your lads out there next week? Do you still have that Arsenal blog? If so you couldn’t put something on there to warn people? Id hate more of your lads to get done like we did. I’ve never got in to any trouble in going out anywhere or watching us in Europe but in the space of 45 minutes my 2 mates got pick pocketed and we got attacked. Id really appreciate it.
And that is the whole point of this post.
If you know anyone who is travelling to see the Champions League game next week, just forward this warning to them. It might just help.