CHIOS ISLAND, Greece
On May 10, two teams from both sides of the Aegean Sea will face off against one another to finish a football match that began 84 years ago.
Turkey’s Karşıyaka, from the western province of İzmir, will meet with Lailapas, from the Greek
island of Chios, to complete a football match that was halted on Dec. 7, 1930, after just three minutes due to bad weather.
“This game symbolizes the fraternity between the two peoples, I hope this game counts as a step towards better relations between the two sides,” said Lailapas team coach Michael Kottakis.
Greek historian Yiannis Makridakis agreed that this was more than just a friendly football game, as the match carries historical significance.
The initial game came at a time when the Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
and the Greek
leader Eleftherios Venizelos were championing closer ties between the two nations. Makridakis highlights that during this time Chios was filled with the flags of both nations.
The Lailapas team was disbanded at around this time but was reestablished in 2009.
“We aim to continue thsee friendly games every year. I mean, we have found each other again after so long, so let’s not lose each other again,” Makridakis told Anadolu Agency.
Turkey’s ambassador to Athens, Kerim Uras, will also be there to watch the game in Chios.
The game at the Fafalieio Stadium will start at 5:30 p.m.