London FC club 'open to hosting Greek Cup final' despite fears of ultra fan clashes

By 5 months ago

Reports suggest that despite concerns about dangerous clashes between rival fans, the Greek Cup final may be held at Crystal Palace.

The Greek Football Association (FA) is currently struggling to find a location for the match, which is scheduled for May 24, as there have been confrontations between the supporters of AEK Athens and PAOK, the two teams that are set to contest the final.

Given this context, the president of the Greek FA, Panagiotis Baltakos, is keen on holding the fixture abroad. The Sun has reported that Steve Parish, the chairman of Crystal Palace, is willing to host the match in south London, with an official announcement expected on Friday.

Eagles chairman Steve Parish is said to be open to hosting the game at Selhurst Park on May 12

The Eagles' Selhurst Park stadium has a capacity of 25,486.

Palace only have three Premier League fixtures left this season, against Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on Saturday, at Fulham's Craven Cottage on May 20, before ending their campaign at home against Nottingham Forest on May 28.

Australia was another potential destination considered, due to the country's large Greek population. 

While the Polish city of Sosnowiec could also be an option.

Matches between Greek giants AEK Athens and PAOK are referred to as the 'double-headed eagle derby'.

There have been several terrifying clashes between the clubs in recent years. In their title showdown in 2018, PAOK club president Ivan Savvidis stormed onto the pitch with a gun after Fernando Varela's late goal was disallowed for offside.

AEK players fled the field fearing for their safety, refused to return, and the match was abandoned. In 2019, police were forced to intervene and used batons on fans when the two sides faced off in the Greek Cup final.

Both club's emblems have a double-headed eagle, but in different colours, with the history of both originating from refugees from Constantinople (now Istanbul) after the Greco-Turkish war.

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Copyright GreekCityTimes 2022