Olympiacos ultras warned as trouble threatens


David Moyes insisted he welcomed the passion of Olympiacos supporters ahead of their Europa League tie, but urged supporters of both sides to behave themselves on Thursday

English journalists covering the Hammers game against Olympiacos in the Euro League were given a worrying welcome by the home club’s ultras earlier this evening.

According to the Daily Mail it included  “X-rated insults, saliva and, strangely, lobbed rolls of sellotape” by those preparing to cause aggravation during the game.

It certainly doesn’t look too promising for a peaceful 90 minutes remembering too that the Hammers fans will get a police escort to the match and be surrounded by a cordon of them during the game.

This has all arisen since the warm up match between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos was abandoned at the  weekend after a player was hit by a firecracker  thrown from the crowd.

The Hammers will be concentrating on extending their unbeaten European record to 18 regardless of what the ultras may have in mind.

And David Moyes commenting ahead of the game said: “You want the passion. ‘You want atmosphere. But you also want good behaviour from our supporters and from Olympiacos supporters. To be a passionate supporter, you have to be a good supporter.

‘You’re not doing your club any favours if you’re getting bans or a stadium ban or thrown out of Europe. Everybody knows (about the atmosphere), coming to Athens to play any of the teams here. Embrace it. Enjoy it. If you’re a football man, you want big atmospheres.

‘What we’ve got to remember is football is a game. We’re seeing so many things happening throughout the world just now. Remember, we’re all here to enjoy a game of football.’

The host club released a statement  last night, pleading with their supporters not to misbehave.

It read: ‘In this great evening of football, we will all have to be very careful to any conduct that might hurt our side,’  and it warned against the use of laser pointers, smoke flares, firecrackers and throwing objects.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon