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A football match will be finished after 84 years

11 April 2014 / 17:04:54  GRReporter
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Suddenly it started raining heavily on Sunday afternoon, 7 December 1930, interrupting the football match played in "Mezaria Stadium" on Chios before 1,500 spectators.

It was only the third minute of the friendly match between the teams of "Lelapa" (Chios) and "Karshiaka Sport" (Izmir), when to the regret of those present heavy rain interrupted the first match between Greece and Turkey organized on Greek territory after the tragic events of 1922 (the so-called Asia-Minor Catastrophe).

Now the match is about to be finished, 84 years after its beginning, from the moment when it was interrupted. "The match will take place on Sunday afternoon, 11 May, in "Fafalio Stadium" on Chios Island and will start from the third minute," the initiator of the idea, writer Yiannis Makridakis, told To Vima newspaper.

Today's "Karshiaka Sport" team

Idea and efforts

The idea for the finishing of this match was born during an eight-year long piece of research conducted by Makridakis for the writing of his book "10,516 days, History of Chios, 1912-1940."

"While I was conducting research of publications on the topic, I felt great disappointment because of the inglorious interruption of the match and I felt an inner need for it to be finished, even after so many years", says the writer. "In 2006, however, I found that the "Lelapa" team did not exist after 1980. However, in 2009, the football club was restored. So I called Panagiotis Dimitrakopoulos and told him the idea for the finishing of that match", continues Makridakis.

The initiative remained unrealized until the summer of 2012, when the volunteer team coach of the time Michalis Kotakis visited his birthplace, Chios Island, and learnt of the strange story of the match from 7 December 1930. He left England, settled permanently on the island, and undertook to realize the idea of writer Makridakis.

"We first tried to contact the management of "Karshiaka Sport" to inform them of our desire to organize again that historic match. Despite the initial difficulties in communication we faced, the team management expressed their excitement for the finishing of the match," says Kotakis.

"This will be a purely symbolic match aimed against racism that will only proclaim friendship and solidarity among peoples. Because even in difficult situations, such as those during the war, people were friends with each other", emphasizes Yiannis Makridakis.

Chronicle of 1930’s match

"Karshiaka Sport" team of 1930

According to the publications of the local newspapers of the time, the Turkish team had rented a ship and arrived from Izmir "fully armed", with hundreds of supporters, representatives of various institutions in Izmir, the entire leadership of the Chamber of Industry and many entrepreneurs in order to establish commercial ties with the island in the Aegean Sea.

The players of "Karshiaka Sport" and all others arrived on Saturday, 6 December, and they were met at the port that was decorated with the flags and national symbols of both countries.

"Chios municipality organized a solemn reception of the Turks and later there was a luncheon for the entire delegation. The programme also included cultural events in order to develop friendship between the two peoples, just eight years after the events in Izmir. All this was in the general political climate of friendship between Eleftherios Venizelos and Kemal Ataturk", notes Makridakis.

Neither side had initiated the continuation of the unexpectedly interrupted match although other matches between Greek and Turkish teams were later organized.

The remaining minutes of the match will be played on Sunday, 11 May

So, like in the past, the Turkish delegation headed by representatives of institutions and along with fans, will sail in a rented ship from Izmir to Chios on 10 May 2014 to play the remaining 87 minutes of the football match on Sunday afternoon, 11 May.

"Finishing the match is a historical obligation that will be completed 84 years later", says writer Makridakis.

Simultaneously, during the stay of the Turkish delegation on the island, the "Lelapa" team will organize, as host, many cultural events including guided tours for the Turkish guests.

The hosts will announce the full programme of these events in the coming days.

Tags: Football matchContinuationIzmirChiosAsia-Minor Catastrophe
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