A Warning To Arsenal Fans Travelling To Greece

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.

4 thoughts on “A Warning To Arsenal Fans Travelling To Greece

  1. Hmmm…no different from what to expect from a of UK city.Thiefs,muggers..’particular races’.I’ve been to Greece and Athens before and its been pleasant altho I do have Greek family that do warn me on where to stay away from(tourist traps..ETC).Anyway thx for the heads up…I’ll keep an extra eye open for 10 men from unmentional races hiding in the bushes ready to pounce ;)

  2. Interesting post, whilst I can testify to some of the matters raised, I would argue some of the events were down to bad luck.

    Re pickpocketing – unfortunate but you get this in any major European city and more so in tourist hotspots. What I will say though is that it is not as bad as central London and nothing like places such as Rome.

    Re footballing thugs – this is a serious danger. Greek fans love their team with a passion and are some are aggressive to away fans more so to foreign away fans. I am sorry to hear about what happened to the evrton fans, unfortunately I have heard of worse stories if this nature at Greek football games, so be careful.

    My advice to travelling goons – Athens is nice city with lots to see, great food and shit transport. If I were you I would steer clear of wearing arsenal gear on your way to the ground. You will be fine in arsenal colours in central Athens and tourist hotspots but an obvious target around Piraeus and the stadium.
    Its a big game for olympiacos and if we beat them and liege also win I would expect aggressive behaviour. Either way there will be quite a hostile atmosphere in the ground.

    Enjoy some pregame pints at the James Joyce near Monastiraki station, just down from the acropolis. Also very easy to get to the ground by train from there.

    Feel free to ask if you are heading there and need any info.

    Go on the gooners!

  3. I traveled for an Olympiacos match when I was about 16 alone. I didn’t have any trouble just don’t wear a jersey and do not carry anything with you. The away fans are fully protected inside the stadium, outside it is totally up to you and how you act.

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