Cyprus Mail

Apoel fans’ denial of uprising condemned in Greece

The controversial banner hoisted by Apoel fans last Friday

The condemnation of Apoel football fans, for claiming the uprising of Athens Polytechnic students against the Greek Junta in November 1973 did not take place, continued over the weekend with media in Greece also slamming the denial of the event.

A group of Apoel fans hoisted a banner with the slogan, ‘’Polytechnio 1973-2017, 44 years of lies,” during their club’s match against Omonia on Friday, November 17, the day on which the anniversary of the student uprising is marked. Images of the banner were circulated on social media. Greek media condemned the message.

The November 1973 student uprising at Athens Polytechnic was crushed after the Junta sent in the tanks. Scores were killed and hundreds injured. Events led to the fall of the colonels, control being taken by Brigadier Demetrios Ioannides, who ruled Greece with an iron fist until he ordered the coup in Cyprus in July 1974.

The banner denying the event caused an angry reaction from many people who accused the Apoel fans of links to extremist nationalist groups. Social media users posted the photos of the victims of the uprising. Some accused Apoel fans of embracing the neo-Nazi ideology that also denies the Holocaust took place.

Akel condemned the move as the “revival of far-right and fascist slogans, actions and behaviours by the same old circles”.

The banner made the news on Greek state TV on Saturday, the Ert1 presenter saying that the Apoel fans’ banner doubting people died during the student uprising, was “unacceptable” and “unworthy of further discussion.”

The TV presenter praised Omonia fans who, during the Friday match, hoisted a banner pledging their solidarity to the Greek people following the floods earlier in the week, west of Athens that claimed the lives of at least 15 people and left hundreds homeless.

The sports portal of fans of the Greek football club Aek, said that the banner was the outcome of “lack of historic knowledge reaching the level of stupidity.” Other Greek media outlets characterised the banner as “shameful” and “provocative”.


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