Away fans banned from Greece vs Croatia World Cup playoff

The Greek Football Association and the Croatian Football Association (HNS) have come to an agreement there will be no away fans allowed to attend either leg of Greece’s World Cup playoff against Croatia, due to concern over crowd riots.

“The leaderships of the HNS and the Greek Football Association have agreed in Athens today that there will be no away fans section in either of the two legs of the World Cup playoff tie between the two teams,” the HNS said on their website.

 “Having taken into consideration the risk factors and the security assessments, both football associations have made a joint decision not to sell any tickets to the away fans in either match.

They also added that FIFA, UEFA and other governing bodies have been notified of the decision.

Both games will be played mid-next month, with the first play off taking place in Croatia and a few days later in Athens.

The decision was based on previous incidents, including the Euro 2012 qualifier in Athens in 2011, which resulted in riots with masked Greek fans throwing flares at visiting Croatian supporters and Croatian fans ripping seats and throwing them at Greek police.

In 2010, Croatian fans attacked a coach carrying away PAOK supporters ahead of the Europa League match between the Croatian side and their Greek rivals. Croatian fans also caused a number of incidents during the Euro 2016 qualifying matches, which forced their national team to play several fixtures behind closed doors, including home 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey.

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