Apeitharxos Ioannina - Proodeftiki Toumpas (13.09.14)

Friends from amateur club Proodeftiki informed me about this game in advance. I was just about to go to Ioannina, so I was extremely delighted this news. Because a self-governing Greek clubs I've heard a lot, but never attended their games.

I sit down on a bus in Thessaloniki and 3 hours come to Ioannina. The city was the first time, it is difficult to navigate. Well it's not megacity, the bus station is near the center and lost hard. The match was to take place on the field in the area of Velisario. Velisario is how I understood the industrial area of the city. Ioannina is located along the lake and in addition to the center there are many such zones.

From the center, I immediately went there because had a long way and pay 2 euros for the bus I did not want. On the road met glued posters with the invitation for the upcoming match. Not far from the city parliament, I came across an anti-fascist demonstration. Was approaching anniversary of the assassination of Pavlos Fyssas. Well, in general conversation, I went to see their headquarters.

In the center they rent a small room where hold meetings and ready for action. There is a small library. I was shown the local anti-fascist newspaper that they do. Their friends are doing urban anarchist radio. The guys are part of some sort of anti-fascist grassroots initiatives, there is not authoritarian Marxists and people close to anarchism. Near the center of periodic functions squat "Αντιβίωση", now because of police control it works only as a venue for various events. Then we went to a cafe drinking coffee. I told them about the situation in Russia, and they told me about the Greek movement. On the one guy we got in the car and drove to the match.

Field in Velisario is a common ground for general use where there are thousands in Greece. No money for the rent does not need to give. In addition, there is a place on the outskirts of town where not so often patrolled by police. Stands of course not, the fans are just standing on the perimeter and place banners on the partition. On the roof of a two-storey house, which is located next to the field, hanged the flag of Jamaica and the Jolly Roger. Hung banners fans Proodeftiki and Apeitharhos, as well as many anti-fascist attributes (flags antifa action, sankt-pauli).  Next to the field stood brazier and made souvlaki, was also a table with the distro. Mainly sold attributes Proodeftiki, because the club from Ioannina was created this year and succeeded to make only a T-shirt. In fact this is was generally the first official game of the club Apeitharhos.

Mostly in the game was attended by members of the anti-fascist movement of Ioannina, as well as fans Proodeftiki (they came from Thessaloniki on the bus with the team). There were a lot of fans of the team PAS Ioannina, group leaders Apei Rotan directly involved in the project Apeitharhos. Also, the match came antifascists from Kozani (Central Greece) with its banner. Attended dude in a T-shirt fan club PAOK of Kastoria, in a private conversation he said that he lives in Ioannina and was in the group when he went to study at the University of Kastoria.

Before the game in the middle of the field hanged homemade banners as a campaign of solidarity with Besiktas fans, fan Rayo Valekano Alfonso Fernandez. At the beginning of the match the fans began to throw on the rolls of toilet paper and burn pyro. Greeks as usual got drunk beer and started to sing songs. Unlike professional teams games here prevailed 100% friendly atmosphere, the slogans were in support of both teams and just against fascism. No problems with the residents of the area were not, although it was in the misi mery (Greek equivalent the siesta), when ordinary people are usually asleep. Between the team and the fans have absolutely no distance, some players after the match went to drink a beer with everyone else. Final score 2-2.

On the game I met migrant from Russia, which already has difficulty speaking in Russian. She long ago married a Greek and moved to Ioannina. She herself is a Communist in his views, but no political parties do not support and stands for "left unity." A local anti-fascists in close contact and attend all their activities. After the game she led me to the city center, it was necessary to go somewhere half an hour.

In the evening of the same day was planned afterparty. It was held in a park near the fortress wall. There they hung banners and included music, mostly disco 80s. It is a pity that it was not possible to see local bands, but generally to night party near the shore of Lake Ioannina is very cool.

As a result, can state that I saw the practical realization of the idea of anarchist football. That is, no police and security guards, horizontal managing a team, cooperation players and fans of the team. The task is not rivalry between the clubs, on the contrary in solidarity and partnership between them. This contrasts sharply with what we see in the field of professional football, where the success of the team depends on the thickness of pockets of its owner. Can only hope that these the grassroots initiatives will continue to evolve in the fields of Greece.


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