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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 07 September 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2019 25 SPORTS OPINION winners WINNERS The offensive banner was displayed at the UEFA match where Greek football team AEK played Trabzonspor. Open letter to UEFA and FIFA On 30 August, 2019 a banner was unfurled at a UEFA match between AEK Athens and Trabzonspor Turkey. The words on the banner, 'Can you swim?' referenced the 1922 Asia Minor Catastrophe which marked the final acts of the Greek Genocide by Ottoman Turks. An open letter by the Greek Genocide Resource Centre is addressed to UEFA and FIFA calls on action to be taken. The Greek group encourages others to also express their outrage by sending similar letters. Dear UEFA and FIFA, I refer to an incident at a UEFA Europa League match at Medical Park Stadium in Trabzon, Turkey on 30 August 2019 between AEK Athens and the Trabzonspor football club during which an offensive banner was unfurled by the home team spectators. The banner in question had the words 'CAN YOU SWIM?' emblazoned on it, words which were deliberately chosen to incite and mock fans of the opposing Greek team AEK Athens and all those affected by the 1922 Smyrna Holocaust. The words on the banner referenced the final phase of the genocide of non-Turkish civilians in Turkey - Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians and others who were forced to frantically swim for their lives into the Smyrna (today İzmir) harbor in Turkey to avoid being killed by marauding Kemalist forces in September 1922. For at least two weeks during that fateful month, non-Turkish civilians living in Smyrna were subjected to rape, massacre and humiliation by nationalist Turkish forces. These acts coincided with the burn- Neos Kosmos welcomes Letters to the Editor. The views and opinions expressed in these are those of the authors and do not necessarily ing of the city of Smyrna to ashes, a city which prior to its destruction had a majority Greek population. Some sources cite the death toll at 100,000, mainly Greeks and Armenians. The 1922 Smyrna Holocaust is an event that Greeks commemorate each September with remembrance ceremonies worldwide. In 1998, the Greek Parliament assigned September 14 as a day of national mourning for the Greek Genocide and in particular for the loss of lives during the Smyrna Holocaust and throughout Turkey during the period 1914-1923. It is no coincidence, that the opposing Greek football team in the above-mentioned match, AEK (translated: Athletic Union of Constantinople) has its origins in Constantinople (today Istanbul, Turkey) and was formed in Greece in 1924 following the genocide. The banner was a clear contravention of the following UEFA rules as stated in UEFA's Disciplinary Regulations (2017 Edition): Article 16: ORDER AND SECURITY AT UEFA COMPETITION MATCHES, which explicitly states that national associations and clubs are liable for the inappropriate behavior on the part of their supporters. The article clearly prohibits: "the use of gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit a provocative message that is not fit for a sports event, particularly provocative messages that are of a political, ideological, religious or offensive nature." Article 11: GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CONDUCT, which refers to "ethical conduct, loy- reflect the official position of the publisher. We reserve the right to edit contributions. All letters must be accompanied by the contact alty, integrity and sportsmanship" of the sport and in particular states that disciplinary measures will be taken for those "whose conduct is insulting or otherwise violates the basic rules of decent conduct" and will discipline anyone "who uses sporting events for manifestations of a nonsporting nature." Article 14: RACISM, OTHER DISCIPLINARY CONDUCT AND PROPAGANDA, which states that UEFA will discipline any person "who insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons on whatever grounds." I also refer to FIFA's CODE OF ETHICS (2018 Edition) and clauses 22 and 23 in particular, which mentions the sanction of those who "offend the dignity or integrity of a country, private person or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions" and prohibits people to "not use offensive gestures and language in order to insult someone in any way or to incite others to hatred or violence." I urge UEFA and FIFA to en- force these rules and to take immediate disciplinary action against the club in question and its national association. Sporting stadiums should not be venues for people to openly and freely insult others with impunity. This instance in particular, where descendants and victims of a genocide were mocked and insulted should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Disciplinary measures including an apology by the offending team must be strongly considered. details of the authors. Send these to mary@ neoskosmos.com.au or mail them to PO Box 6068, Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122. MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA It’s worth pointing out that these lines are being written before the Australian ‘Boomers’ play their remaining two games in the group stage against Senegal and Lithuania. But even the 28-year-old’s single performance against the Canadians is enough to deserve special mention. Just when things were beginning to look tough for Australia, he picked the team up with some crucial 3-pointers that had a devastating effect on the opposition. His shot has improved immensely during the summer and even though everyone was expecting Patty Mills to be the hero of this team, Dellavedova proves that he can do just as much work in pushing the team along. Great appearance! GREEK BASKETBALL TEAM We continue this week with another entry from the FIBA World Cup. This time, we won’t be singling out a particular player, but casting the focus on the entire team, as the Greeks dominated Montenegro in their first match in the competition with their crushing defence. And for anyone thinking the opposing team was an easy opponent, it is worthwhile noting that their ranks included the likes of Orlando Magic star Nikola Vukcevic. Sadly, this didn’t prove sufficient to give them a win in their second game against SINNERS ASHLEIGH BARTY After she made short work of the likes of Maria Sakkari in the round of 32 of the US Open, expectations had risen for the world number one, with fans anticipating a repeat of the success of Wimbledon, or at least her appearance in the semi-finals. Sadly, she was knocked out one round later (16) by China’s Qiand Wang. Definitely not the most desired outcome for the 23-year-old in the final Grand Slam of the season. She will be hoping to do better on home soil at the Australian Open. Greece and Australia off to explosive start in World Cup finals sinners & by alex anyfantis Just as every week, we choose the Winners and Sinners of Greek and Australian sport Matthew Dellavedova was instrumental in helping Australia secure their first points in their World Cup campaign. Brazil (where they lost by a single point, 79-78). However Greece did go on to beat New Zealand (103-97), meaning they will go on to face the United States on Saturday, 7 September. APOSTOLOS VELLIOS The former Nottingham Forest player had not made any single contribution to Atromitos since the start of the season. Despite starting up front for all of his team’s games and very rarely being subbed off, Vellios hadn’t really been much of a threat to the opposing goals. He barely made his presence ANNA KORAKAKI For an athlete that has done nothing but win medal after medal for the past few years, a seventh place at a World Championship can be seen as nothing but a step back. Such was the case for Anna Korakaki. The pistol champion took part in the tournament that was held in Brazil, yet she didn’t demonstrate the same level of accuracy that we’ve become accustomed to. She fought a hard battle just to claim a spot within the final rounds, but she couldn’t overcome the score difference and was reduced to seventh place. felt. However, the reason as to why the club from Peristeri decided to give him an opportunity to restart his career was made apparent last weekend in the game with Lamia. His team was looking for a late equaliser and the 27-year-old player very calmly controlled the ball inside the box with his right foot. The scissor kick that he attempted afterwards ended up in the back of the net and could already be the goal of the season, not just in Greece, but in all of Europe! If you haven’t seen it yet, you really should. GIORGOS DONIS Despite a promising start to the season with some good results in the friendlies, there seems to be something wrong in the Panathinaikos dressing rooms. Giorgos Donis refuses to give starting positions to the young Greek players that showed a lot of potential during the previous season, instead opting for the highly doubtful quality of the foreign transfers. This has resulted in Panathinaikos wasting points in their first two games of the season, and putting on a disappointing performance.
31 August 2019
14 September 2019