Fenerbahce arrives under heavy security

Turkish team Fenerbahce arrived in Athens yesterday under heavy security for their UEFA Cup second-leg match against Panathinaikos tonight. The Turkish players and some 150 officials arrived via chartered aircraft and were whisked away in waiting buses with a heavy contingent of police for the ride from Athens Airport to their two hotels. Up to 3,000 police officers will be on duty during the team’s visit. When the two teams met in Istanbul two weeks ago and drew 1-1, the game was marred by violence between fans. Hundreds of police will be stationed at the 17,000-capacity Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium. The game is not expected to be a sellout as Fenerbahce announced this week that none of its fans would attend, for safety reasons. In addition, Panathinaikos supporters’ clubs have criticized ticket price rises to a minimum of 80 euros. Many have decided to boycott the match. «A lot has been said and written about this match,» said Panathinaikos coach Sergio Markarian yesterday. «I’m Uruguayan with Armenian roots, but I think like a Greek. Most of the players are Greek and I feel like their fellow countryman. Panathinaikos is a big team and must bring joy to its fans and to Greek soccer.» (AFP)

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