With Greece and Turkey at the brink of war at no time closer since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, all eyes were on PAOK and Beşiktaş playing tonight in European football.
The game had a peculiarity as the match was knockout with no second leg.
The Thessalonians with an incredible first half hour of football completely dominated the Turkish side, giving a demonstration of what PAOK might be capable of doing this upcoming domestic season.
A big protagonist for Abel Ferreira’s team was 18-year-old Christos Tzolis who scored two goals, while he gave an assist to Dimitris Pelkas for PAOK’s third goal.
Beşiktaş scored one back in the 37 ‘.
Larin’s goal for Beşiktaş would be the last one for the match, and ending the score at 3-1 in favour of the Greeks.
The game was always going to be heated considering the hostile relations between Greece and Turkey over Ankara’s illegal claims over Greece’s continental shelf.
Fans of Beşiktaş last night raised a banner of the main perpetrator of the Greek Genocide (1913-1923) and the Ottoman conqueror of Constantinople (Turkish: İstanbul). The banner, which featured an image of Turkey’s founding father and perpetrator of the Greek Genocide, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as well as the Ottoman Sultan who conquered Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II, had written “You Can’t Run From Your Fate” in an obvious reference to genocide and ethnic cleansing, as earlier reported by Greek City Times.
Before the game, PAOK FC presented the new team jersey for the 2020-2021 season and it had a hidden message.
At the bottom of the black and white striped jersey, which will be worn by PAOK players, there is a very special message:
“Hellenism. Hagia Sophia. PAOK. Refugees. Asia Minor. Pontus. Constantinople,” are written on the inside of the new PAOK jersey, as reported by Greek City Times.
PAOK was established on 20 April 1926 as a club for Greek refugees who fled to Thessaloniki from Constantinople and other areas of what became the Turkish Republic in 1923 in the wake of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) and the Greek Genocide.
The club established by Greek refugees adopted the Double-headed eagle as the club’s emblem to symbolise their Byzantine heritage.