Supporters of Liverpool Football Club have received a stark warning from Merseyside Police that drunkenness will not be tolerated ahead of next week's Champions League Final.
Having once again shattered Jose Mourinho's European dreams, Rafa Benitez's side will face AC Milan on May 23rd, in a game that has generated enormous excitement across Europe. Liverpool famously came back from the dead to beat AC Milan on penalties in the 2005 final and memories of this night have inevitably added extra spice to this year's contest.
But Chief Superintendent Dave Lewis has warned supporters not to get the celebrations started early, as they will not be allowed to board their plane if they are intoxicated.
He has also urged fans to stay at home if they do not have a ticket, as officials in Athens will be reluctant to accommodate ticketless visitors.
"All of the tickets for the match have now been allocated and I'd advise anyone without a ticket not to travel. The Greek authorities say that they will be checking that supporters arriving have tickets. If they don't they run the risk of being sent home," he said.
Those with legitimate tickets have been told to arrive at the airport early and they have also been discouraged from taking hand luggage. This second recommendation is to speed up the boarding process, which should make the day easier for all involved.
Even when hand luggage is absolutely necessary, Liverpool fans are reminded that they will not be able to take any liquids on board. A comprehensive list of rules can be found on the Liverpool Airport website.
Athens is one of Europe's most beautiful cities, with spectacular architecture, fantastic shopping opportunities and charming bars and cafes. Chief Superintendent Lewis has conceded that many fans will be keen to make the most of their visit to Greece by exploring the city before the game, but he has urged them to resist the temptation.
"The route to the stadium will be very busy on Wednesday evening. To ensure that everyone is there in time for kick-off I'd ask people to make their way there as early as possible. The atmosphere at the stadium will be amazing, so go along early and make it an occasion to remember," he said.
He has stressed that Liverpool supporters have "an excellent track record for their behaviour" and has asked those heading to Athens to maintain this reputation by acting as "ambassadors for the city and the club".
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