A professional football match in Greece was delayed last week when two clubs staged a sit-down protest as a show of respect to hundreds of refugees who have lost their lives fleeing countries like Syria and Iraq.
The gesture was agreed by players and staff of AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos, who both play in Greece's second-tier. All 22 players – plus coaches and substitutes – sat in silence for two minutes at kick off to protest the death roll of migrants trying to reach Greece's Aegean islands.
An announcement over the club's PA stated:
"The administration of AEL, the coaches and the players will observe two minutes of silence just after the start of the match in memory of the hundreds of children who continue to lose their lives every day in the Aegean due to the brutal indifference of the EU and Turkey.
The players of AEL will protest by sitting down for two minutes in an effort to drive the authorities to mobilise all those who seem to have been desensitised to the heinous crimes that are being perpetrated in the Aegean.”
33 migrants died as they crossed from Turkey to Greece at the weekend.
24 hours before this gesture on Friday, it was announced that the Olympic flame for Rio 2016 will pass through the Eleonas refugee camp in Athens – and one refugee will be amongst the torch bearers.
[via The Guardian]