Away fans barred from Besiktas-Olympiacos clashes

Teams from both countries agree to play matches in their home stadiums without any away fans

Away fans barred from Besiktas-Olympiacos clashes

By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun


European football's governing body UEFA will not allow away fans to attend the Europa League's Round 16 clashes between Besiktas and Olympiacos, the Turkish club announced Wednesday.

According to a statement on the club's official website, after Greek league leaders Olympiacos requested the two matches be played without away fans' attendance, both clubs agreed to ban visiting team fans to avoid disturbances.

The statement added that the decision was mutually taken by both teams and UEFA for "security reasons”.

On Monday, UEFA fined Besiktas €60,000 by for setting off fireworks in a Champions League match against Dynamo Kiev. The fireworks caused damage inside the Ukrainian team's stadium.

Besiktas will go to Piraeus, Athens for the first leg of the two-leg clash on March 9. The return leg in Istanbul will be on March 16.

Olympiacos had advanced to the last 16 by eliminating another Turkish league side, Osmanlispor FK.

Turkish title-holders Besiktas are currently unbeaten at home in seven matches they played in European competitions this season, including the UEFA Champions League.

The nearest Besiktas came to lifting a major European honor was reaching the UEFA Cup's final eight in the 2002-03 season and the European Cup quarterfinals in the 1986-87 season.

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