History of Greek Football starts in 1866, almost a century before mobile phones and computers came to light. The first match was played on January 29th of that year, on the island of Corfu (Kerkyra).
The story goes that the officers of a British warship, which was stationed in the port of Corfu, wanted to play football with a team formed by the locals.
The Greeks were unfamiliar with the sport, yet they still managed to win that first football match on Greek soil, attended by over 3,000 spectators.
Despite this fact, the new sport was not at first very popular on mainland Greece, but in the thriving Greek cities of Asia Minor, especially Smyrna. It was there that the first clubs were founded (in the late 19th century); among them, some that continue to this day, e.g. Apollon and Panionios.
The turning point in the history of Greek football (among other things) was the Destruction of Asia Minor by the Turks, and the following evacuation of more than 1 million Greeks to the mainland (1922). All these refugees brought with them their customs, their way of living, their love for sports. New football clubs were founded in every city, mostly by the refugees.
History of the Greek Football Federation, HFF
The Greek Football Federation (Hellenic Football Federation, HFF) was founded in 1926, by a decision of the three major Unions of the country (Athens, Piraeus, Thessalonica).
Its foundation marked organizing Greek football according to international standards. From that day on, H.F.F. has developed into the biggest sports federation of the country, with the “king of sports” occupying the first place in sports’ fans preferences, as it does worldwide.
The Role of Greek Football Federation
The Greek Football Federation is a private legal entity, a non profit association, which, according to Civil Law, has its registered offices in Athens under the name of Hellenic Football Federation.
Greek Football Federation abstains from any political or religious matters and prohibits any kind of political, religious, national or racial discrimination.
Greek Football Federation is the sole and exclusively qualified competent authority for representing the Greek football. It is a member of the International Football Federation (FIFA) and the European Football Federation (UEFA). Amongst its obligations is to accept the statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of FIFA and UEFA and to ensure that all of the above are also being accepted by everyone, in the field of Greek football
Greek Football Federation Milestones
1926: The foundation of the Greek Football Federation is a fact
1927: The Greek Football Federation becomes a member of FIFA
1954: The Greek Football Federation becomes one of the initial members of UEFA
Greek Football Federation Historic Events
Greek Football Federation has organized major football events with huge success. The most important “moments”, as to the participating clubs, are:
1973: Cup Winners Cup final, Milan-Leeds United (1-0)
1983: Champions League final Hambourg-Juventus (1-0)
1987: UEFA Cup final, Locomotiv-Ajax (0-1)
1994: Champions League final Milan-Barcelona (4-0)
2007: Champions League Final AC Milan-Liverpool (2-1)
Most successful club in the history of Greek football
The most successful club in the history of Greek football is undoubtedly Olympiakos Piraeus. They have won 30 Championships, 20 Cups and 10 Doubles. They are followed by their eternal enemies, Panathinakos FC (18 Championships, 15 Cups, 6 Doubles) and the third of the Athens-big-3, AEK Athens (11 Championships, 11 Cups, 2 Doubles). The most popular club in Salonica, PAOK Thessalonica , have won 2 Championships and 3 Cups, while their city rivals, Aris, have 3 Championships and 1 Cup. The only club outside Athens or Salonika to have ever won a Championship is Larissa (also 1 Cup). Other teams to have won a Greek Cup are Panionios (twice), Iraklis Salonica, OFI Crete, Ethnikos and Kastoria.
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