Karaiskakis Stadium disaster
|Date||February 8, 1981|
|Time||16:58 EET (14:58 UTC)|
Faliro, Piraeus, Greece
|at least 55 injured|
The Karaiskakis Stadium disaster was an incident that occurred on 8 February 1981, in the Karaiskakis Stadium in Neo Faliro, Piraeus, Greece, after the conclusion of a football match between Olympiacos and AEK Athens. It is the biggest football tragedy in Greece's history, and among the worst in sports history.
A total number of 21 people, 20 supporters of Olympiacos and 1 supporter of AEK, lost their lives while rushing out of the stadium to celebrate the victory of Olympiacos against AEK Athens (6–0). The accident occurred in the historic Gate 7 (Θύρα 7). The stadium has since been rebuilt as a modern football field (not a stadium).
There are still debates regarding the causes that led to the disaster. The main cause for the accident, according to the official police report, seems to have been a partially closed door. While exiting, some fans lost their balance and fell on the last steps. Dozens fell onto each other and were stepped over by a horde of unsuspecting fans who kept coming, making it for most of them extremely difficult to stand up or even defend themselves somehow. 19 supporters lost their lives within the stadium, while another two died of their wounds in hospital. At least 55 more were injured, many of them with major injuries. Most of the dead and wounded were teenagers and young adults.
The accident occurred in the Gate 7 of the stadium, the gate where supporters of Olympiacos were concentrated, however one of the victims was reported to be a supporter of AEK Athens FC friend with an Olympiacos supporter.
In memory of this event, every year on February 8, there is a memorial service at the stadium in honor of the supporters that died in that incident. The service is attended by thousands of fans every year, who are rhythmically shouting the phrase "Αδέρφια, ζείτε, εσείς μας οδηγείτε." (Adhélfia, zíte, esís mas odhiyíte, "Brothers, you live, you are the ones who guide us."). At the tribune part of the stadium where Gate 7 is now, some seats are colored black instead of red, shaping the number "7", whereas there is also a monument on the eastern side of the stadium, bearing the names of all 21 supporters killed on that day in the stadium.
Even though this incident affected almost solely the fanbase of Olympiacos, other teams occasionally pay their respects to the people killed as well, as they consider the incident to be a tragedy not only for one team, but for the whole country. In the past, even foreign teams, such as Liverpool F.C. and Red Star Belgrade have honored the incident's victims.
"Gate 7" (Θύρα 7), οne of the biggest and most supportive fan clubs of Olympiacos, was named after the incident. Although "Gate 7" members are generally considered to be ultras, the people sitting in that gate before and during the incident were normal supporters, without season tickets (as in the old stadium only gate 1 - which was a VIP gate - supported some season tickets).
- "The tragedy of Gate 7". olympiacos.org. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "08/02/1981". gate7sydney.com. Archived from the original on 2014-01-04. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "The Gate 7 Tragedy". thekop.liverpoolfc.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Karaiskaki Stadium History". olympiacos.org. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Gate 7 – Sunday, February 8, 1981". olympiakos.gr. 2008-02-08. Archived from the original on February 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
- The chronicle of the incident at the Olympiakos website
- Gate 7 fans Website
- http://www.gate7.gr/821981/ Photo Tribute
- http://www.gate7.gr/777/1.pdf Newspapers