ATHENS, April 20 (Reuters) - Greek police, preparing for what could be an all-English Champions League final on May 23, urged fans not to travel to Athens without match tickets.
With Liverpool playing Chelsea in one semi-final and Manchester United meeting AC Milan in the other, at least one English team are guaranteed to make the final at the Athens Olympic stadium and police fear an influx of soccer hooligans.
'We call on the fans who have no tickets not to travel to Greece,' police chief Anastasios Dimoschakis told reporters on Friday after meeting city officials.
He said all the capital's 17,000-strong police force were included in the safety plans for the final and for the Euroleague basketball Final Four that takes place between May 4-6 in Athens.
'Our checks start at the airports and fans' countries of origin. We will strictly control the use of alcohol...and our aim is for the opposing fans not to meet,' Dimoschakis said.
Police have reactivated part of the successful Athens 2004 Olympics security programme, with cameras around the Olympic stadium ready to operate again.
Greek police are working with British authorities to identify known hooligans and officers from Athens will fly to Britain on Monday to get more information.
Authorities expect a total of about 35,000 ticket-holding fans from both teams for the match and as many as 15,000 fans without tickets who will watch the action on large video-walls in the city.