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Brighton fans get ‘teargassed by mistake’ after Greek police deal with AEK Athens supporters

A group of Brighton & Hove Albion fans get ‘teargassed by mistake’ after Greek police attempted to deal with AEK Athens supporters.

Some fans of the Seafulls had been exposed to tear gas used by Greek police as they tried to disperse AEK Athens supporters following Thursday night’s Europa League clash.

Brighton supporters are seen in footage uploaded to social media covering their mouths and noses after the final whistle at the Opap Arena.

Police swooped in to clear the home fans – some of which had stayed by the divide in between both sets of fans – but inadvertently caught Brighton fans as unleashed the spray.

Club police liaison PC Darren Balkham says it wasn’t intention that Brighton fans got sprayed and adds that supporters had praised for their ‘excellent behaviour’ during the game.

‘A number of cannisters were fired resulting in the gas coming back into the stadium due to the still night.’ He said via Twitter.

‘I know a number of you were affected (as were we) we gave reassurance to those who needed it straight after and informed fans of what had happened.

‘To be clear this was not aimed at Brighton fans at all and police have praised your excellent behaviour.’

Darren Balkham adds, as per BBC News: “The gas wafted through to the away end, and a few fans were left feeling distressed.

“It’s not a nice feeling, especially if you have respiratory problems. And if you’ve not had that before, it is quite scary.

“There has been quite a lot of frustration. The fans will reflect quite angrily with what’s happened, but hopefully tomorrow and going forward they will remember the win.”

Supporter George Batchelor spoke of never thinking it possible that he’d would watch his side qualify for the knockout stages of a European competition.

“I never imagined 10 or even five years ago we’d play in Europe, let alone qualify for the knockouts,” he said.

“It did turn a bit sour between fans, and the match was stressful at times, but it was all worth it.

“The celebrations will go on long into the night.”

Brighton are through with thanks to Joao Pedro’s second-half penalty to seal progression from the group stages.

In a club statement, Brighton was delighted at their supporters’ behaviour and state they will investigate the incident further.

“Once again the travelling Albion fans have been a credit to the club and supported the team on another historic night for the club.

“We are aware of a small number of minor incidents at full-time in the home section of the ground.

“We understand this resulted in police clearing the home area with the use of teargas. None was directed at the away section.

“However we are also aware that this inadvertently affected a number of Albion supporters in the away section.

“We will investigate further and seek clarity from AEK Athens – who as a club were excellent hosts – and from UEFA, but at this point will not make any further comment.”

Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi said to TNT Sports after the game:

“It’s difficult because AEK are a good team, it’s a very hard stadium, a great atmosphere. We are not used to playing in this stadium because we are not in the best physical condition, so we can suffer parts of the game.

“We had the first chance in the first half with Ferguson then we lost the balance. But it’s difficult when you play against one team who have only one result, they have to win. It’s difficult. For today, we played a great game in terms of attitude and character. We played for our fans.

“[Joao Pedro] can play better. He can score more goals and become stronger and Ferguson as well. We need strikers during the game, our style is nice if 11 players play in the game, keeping the ball.”

Twitter users gave their reaction after seeing Brighton fans get ‘teargassed by mistake’ after Greek police deal with AEK Athens supporters…

@LaniBeno: What the actual hell???? Is everyone okay……that’s terrible!!

@wearebrighton: Gyros, Mythos, Ouzo, Tear Gas… in that order #BHAFC

@nick_taylor_uk: Tear gas all a bit unnecessary AEK don’t you think. #bhafc

@I_am_the_Paulus: Hope everyone’s ok in Athens, sounds a bit rough #bhafc

@georgehairee: Can confirm, wasn’t nice

@L_BHAFC: Sorry it was me trying out my new candy floss watermelon vape

European away day ✅
European away day win ✅
Eaten double my bodyweight in Gyros ✅
Sweating out Ouzo & Mythos ✅
Tear gassed by police ✅
Fatboy slim ✅
Hangover from hell and dying in airport ✅
Flight delayed ✅
Would i change a thing? ❌
#BHAFC #aekfc

@pdl2203: #UEFA & #FA hope you’re looking into that tear-gas incident by the Greek Police at FT firing tear-gas at home supporters & knowing full well. the #BHAFC Supporters will be detained in the ground, that’s snidey.

@thegratefulted: @OfficialBHAFC win over AEK Athens was so painful, even the Greek police had to shed a tear. #AEKBHA #BHAFC #Seagulls #UEL @EuropaLeague

@CW9_MCFC: Looks like a few of our away ends with some of the shit bombs that get dropped

@sot_1997: What a fucking night for the English in Europe 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Adrie van der Meer:· A message from an AEK supporter to Brighton supporters: 💬 Hello! Saw what happened yesterday really apologies, for those 20 idiots. I really hope you had a nice time in our stadium, nobody likes these ultras, all of our fans are hating them. Football is a joy, and i really hope you all had fan in Athens. Thank you for the hospitality in Brighton, your fans are amazing, and i hope we meet again next year 🙂 💙🤝🏻💛🦅

@Pat140166: I’m sorry but @suspolbhafc saying it was a mistake is so far off of the mark, and if a mistake why not let it out into the heavenly policed area where the coaches were ? Being spat at by the degenerate AEK fans after was bad enough, throwing bottles of piss at us not that great

@theBeachByrdy: Not sure if you’re aware how bad it was for those of us who had taken shelter in the lower tier when the gas came in. Very tough trying to get back up into the outside air.

@philydc3: Good point Claire. Saw a couple of more ‘mature’ fans who were having respiratory problems, anxiety/panic attacks.

@Swaff26: Yes Phil, I saw some elderly suffering. They did start handing out water, while the robocops looked on…… wearing gas masks!!! I’ve never experienced that before. Quite an eye opener. Or rather an eye squinter. Horrible

@BeachyHead3: He walked away when people were asking for help. @OfficialBHAHelp @OfficialBHAFC deserted fans too. Stands were empty, should have allowed people on the pitch to get away from it. No water to help anyone. Albion stewards happily on the piss back in my hotel when I arrived.

@LevelM7: That’s all well and good, but we still got tear gassed and were trapped in the stadium. No help was offered from what I saw

SEE MORE: 46 arrests made, Legia Warsaw fans injure police, in home end, throw objects at Aston Villa fans 

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