Sofia police planning tight security ahead of Liverpool – Ludogorets match
Police in the Bulgarian capital Sofia will be closely monitoring football fans in the city for the Liverpool – Ludogorets match to be played on November 26 2014.
A reported 2300 supporters of Liverpool were arriving in Sofia, some on low-cost flights from the UK while others were flying via Bucharest and travelling to the Bulgarian capital in rented cars.
Toni Todorov, head of the mass events department of Sofia police, told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio that police had been informed that all 2300 tickets for Liverpool fans arriving from the UK had been sold.
Police would continuously monitor fans but were adamant that they would not harass them. Places where police would be keeping an eye included popular restaurants and bars. The main point of the exercise was to avoid any clashes with Bulgarian fans, police said.
BNR said that British police were accompanying Liverpool supporters, but would be on duty only in the “away supporters” section of Sofia’s Vassil Levski national stadium.
The British embassy in Sofia has issued advice for fans travelling to Sofia for the Liverpool FC – Ludogorets PFC match.
The match’s kick-off time is 9.45pm Sofia time and the meeting point is outside Alexander Nevsky cathedral at 7.30pm local time. Police will escort fans to the stadium.
At the match, Liverpool fans will be seated in block 44, Sector G and should enter through entrances 23 and 24 (entrance is Вход in Bulgarian); the disabled entrance is through entrance 1.
Access to the stadium can be slow, there will be ticket checks and body searches at the entrance to the stadium and at the turnstiles, the embassy said.
To avoid missing the start of the match, get to the stadium early – entrances will open at 7:30pm or join the meeting point at Saint Alexander Nevski Cathedral.
“Anyone who is obviously drunk won’t be allowed into the stadium; any banners bearing political slogans, or with handles longer than 1m and wider than 1cm will not be permitted inside the stadium.”
No flares, fireworks, alcohol, cans, glass, bottle tops or containers over ½ litre are allowed in the stadium, the embassy said.
Visiting supporters may be kept behind for up to 30 minutes after the match to allow the home fans to disperse.
Contact details for the British Embassy in Sofia in case of a consular emergency:
British Embassy Sofia, 9 Moskovska Street, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria
Telephone +359 (0)2 9339 222 (also for out of hours emergencies).
Office hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
For more information please visitwww.gov.uk/world/bulgaria.
Emergency services number – public emergency line: 112.
(Photo of Vassil Levski national stadium: dimnikolov/flickr.com)