Police in Athens are to mount a major security operation on Saturday with the aim of ensuring the soccer cup final between Panathinaikos and PAOK is not marred by violence.
The game is due to kick off at 8 p.m. at the Olympic Stadium. Police have banned any gathering of fans in Athens between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. amid fears that hooligans from each side could attempt to cause trouble.
The two teams have been given 21,300 tickets each for the game, with thousands of fans expected to travel by coach, car and train from Thessaloniki.
PAOK faces heavy disciplinary action for trouble before its cup semifinal against Olympiakos last week, when fans lit hundreds of flares, threw fish on the visitors’ bench and invaded the pitch.
The Thessaloniki club could have up to three points deducted, have to play up to three fixtures behind closed doors and be ordered to pay a fine of as much as 200,000 euros.