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AEK Athens away section: Guide for Brighton fans

Brighton are set for a high-stakes clash in Europa League Group B knowing that a win over AEK Athens will confirm their qualification to the knock-out stages of the tournament.

The Seagulls set off for the Greek capital, looking to avenge the opening matchday defeat when AEK secured a 3-2 victory at the American Express Stadium back in September.

Another win for the Greek side would see them take over second spot in the group from Brighton so in this penultimate fixture there is plenty on the line.

Will you be part of the travelling contingent swapping Sussex for Syntagma Square? Football Ground Guide gives you the lowdown here.

AEK Athens fans light up red flares during the Greek Cup Semi-Final First Leg match at OPAP Arena, Athens | Guide for AEK Athens away section
AEK Athens fans | Photo by Icon Sport

What is Athens like for away fans?

Athens is known to be a cultural hotspot as well as having more of a red-hot football vibe. As an away fan, it is a city and location to enjoy but you will need to take sensible precautions in and around the vicinity of the stadium, just as you would in any new place as a tourist.

For a whistle-stop tour of some of the renowned sights in Athens, you should consider the Acropolis, Parthenon or maybe even Philopappos Hill.

Areas with a good vibe to stay and socialise include Syntagma, Plaka, and Monastiraki where bars and restaurants can be found in abundance.

Where to drink for Brighton fans in Athens

The area around the Melina Mercouri Monument has been designated as the ticket collection point for Brighton fans, so this could make an ideal base given the amount of amenities in this area. 

There are plenty of places to get something to eat or have a few beers on the day you arrive in Athens or on matchday itself, with further information expected from the club in the build-up to matchday.

Some bars worth checking include the Buna Vista Social Bar, Barreldier, or the Melina Mercouri Cafe.

Where to watch football in Athens

For those arriving the day before the AEK Athens vs Brighton fixture, there is plenty of Champions League football to watch over a few drinks on Wednesday.

Galatasaray vs Manchester United should be very interesting given how tight that group is, or there is Arsenal vs Lens. One for the purists would be Real Madrid vs Napoli in Group C as Carlo Ancelotti's team aim to continue their 100% record so far.

Some options for watching these games could include Athens Sports Bar (Veikou 3a), Tiki Bar (Falirou 15) or James Joyce Pub (Astiggos 12).

What will the AEK Athens away section be like for Brighton fans?

The Agia Sophia Stadium is a very new stadium, having just opened in September 2022.

With a 32,500 capacity, this place will be rocking as a fanatical home crowd gets behind their team to push them on to further gains in the Europa League.

The ground is also known as the OPAP Arena for sponsorship purposes, with the gambling company having its name adorned on the stadium including its branding and signage.

UEFA does not use sponsorship names, outside of its own title agreements, so the Agia Sophia Stadium will also be used in terms of the Europa League.

Brighton fans should expect a general decent view from the Agia Sophia away section, not unlike the situation in Amsterdam. Most of the away area will offer unrestricted views apart from the front as once again, a perspex screen will be in place.

As stated above, a great, if even hostile, atmosphere should be expected at the home of AEK Athens.

AEK Athens away section view at Agia Sophia Stadium

AEK Athens away section view | AEK Athens away end view
Photo: BHA official club website

The away section is situated in the north-west corner of the Agia Sofia stadium, with Albion fans occupying blocks 46, 47 and 48.

As shown in the pictures, sections 46 and 48 in the upper tier offer an unrestricted view of the full pitch but below, in 47, the perspex screens will prove to be an obstruction although AEK have advised that these may be removed for the game, to be replaced by a buffer of netting and stewards.

As is customary for all UEFA club competition fixtures, Brighton will receive a smaller allocation of premium seating (Category 1) in the Agia Sophia stadium.

These will be in block 35 in the main stand.

AEK Athens away section view | AEK Athens away end view
Photo: BHA official club website

How many Brighton fans are going to Athens?

The full official allocation of 1,600 is expected to be fully subscribed.

This game in Greece comes with a lesser allocation of away tickets for Brighton fans than was the case in Amsterdam, although the demand won't be as high compared to the Ajax tie.

How Brighton fans in Athens can get to the Agia Sophia Stadium 

Advice on how to get to the stadium has been linked to ticket collection on matchday.

Brighton fans have been advised that the ticket collection point will be near the Melina Mercouri Monument, which has plenty of food and drink options in the vicinity.

Later in the afternoon, shuttle buses will be provided to take fans from the departure point outside the Panathenaic Stadium (NOT the home of Panathinaikos FC, but the location of the first Olympic Games, otherwise known as Kallimarmaro).

Fans have been asked to be at the shuttle bus meeting point between 3.30-4pm to allow for pre-boarding checks, ahead of the journey to the Agia Sophia Stadium.

Agia Sophia stadium tour: How to visit AEK Athens ground?

At present, there is no information readily available online regarding stadium tours at the new arena, the Agia Sophia Stadium although there is a club museum in place as part of the new development.

The club website states that it is open 365 days a year so it appears that you will be able to enquire at the stadium regarding a tour or at least to see the AEK club museum.

How to get AEK Athens vs Brighton tickets

Away tickets for the Europa League clash between AEK Athens and Brighton are now sold out, with the full allocation taken up.

Some home-end tickets are thought to still be available but it would not be advisable to be wearing Brighton colours in the home end or to be actively supporting the away team.

If you are entering the home end, please choose your location wisely and be respectful of your surroundings.

Agia Sophia Stadium tickets: How to watch an AEK Athens game

Apart from the biggest games in Greece, it is fairly easy to pick up tickets for the majority of domestic fixtures.

You can make a purchase in advance online from the club ticketing portal, or on the day of the game at the ticket office. It is advisable to bring your passport with you as there is a good chance you will be asked for it.

If any Brighton fans are having a long stay in Athens, AEK are playing at home against Aris on Monday 4 December, providing an option for another game or for those who don't have a ticket for the Europa League game to get along to see some live action.

Athens is not only home to AEK, but it is a bit of a goldmine for groundhoppers and football tourists with several clubs within the city limits and its surroundings.

You can visit Olympiacos at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, then there is Panathinaikos who are playing between their traditional Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium and the Olympic Stadium for domestic and European fixtures.

There is also smaller clubs such as Atromitos and Panionios in the Greek capital to see and enjoy.

Graeme Hanna

A long-term Rangers season-ticket holder and switched-on football writer with a passion for fan culture, Graeme Hanna is a freelance writer who has featured in titles such as The Rangers Review, Glasgow Evening News and Give Me Sport, as well as having a long association with Follow Follow fanzine. He joined Football Ground Guide in September 2023 and stated that Juan Roman Riquelme is the best opposition player that he has seen at Ibrox. Graeme experienced a 36 hour supporters bus journey from Glasgow to Florence for the 2008 UEFA Cup semi-final and has attended games in several European counties with a particular interest in German fan culture.

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