Turkish, Greek teams hold friendly football match 84 years after kick-off
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoThe first friendly football match between Turkish and Greek football teams – interrupted by a downpour of rain in its third minute 84 years ago – ended on May 10 in a 5-5 draw, on the Greek island of Chios.
Turkey’s Karşıyaka, from the western province of İzmir, met with Lailapas, from the Greek island of Chios, to complete a football match that was interrupted on Dec. 7, 1930, after just three minutes due to inclement weather.
Karşıyaka Mayor Hüseyin Mutlu Akpınar was among several who switched teams mid-play, first captaining Karşıyaka and then scoring a goal for Lailapas.
“I’ve played many games, but today’s was meaningful,” Akpınar told Anadolu Agency after the match.
“The friendship between the two Aegean sides has manifested once again,” he said.
At the 65th minute of the match, fans placed Turkish and Greek flags in the midfield and the game was stopped once again, with a message the friendship will last forever.
“The match has both historic and symbolic meaning,” Turkish Ambassador to Greece Kerim Uras told the Agency.
The initial game came at a time when the Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the Greek leader Eleftherios Venizelos were championing for closer ties between the two nations.
Makridakis highlights that during this time Chios was filled with both nations’ flags. The Lailapas team was disbanded at around this time, but was reestablished in 2009. Karşıyaka is a Turkish sports club founded in 1912.