A Greek Tragedy

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A Greek Tragedy

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The fate of the Greece’s second and third tier football teams hangs in the balance after the players union went on strike on Wednesday due to unpaid players wages and lack of health insurance.

The cash strapped-leagues have therefore been suspended leaving pitches and dilapidated stands empty.

Hopes for the future are also crumbling.

Vice president of the football league, Stelios Sfakianakis, said: ‘‘Greek soccer today is quite possibly going through the worst crisis since professional soccer was created.

“We have no sources of income at the moment. We could approach private companies but because of the current economic environment the request for funds for professional soccer from other sources is difficult because companies have also reduced their budgets.”

Despite the suspension of games players at one second tier club in Athens continued to train.

But 28-year-old midfielder for Ethnikos Asteras, Agisilaos Pasas, said he and his team-mates could not continue to work under the current circumstance where players have to borrow money to get by.

“It is a difficult economic situation now, no matter what profession you are in. But we can not except not getting even a little money for the last seven month. It is a matter of survival, soccer players are now forced to borrow money from friends and family and a solution must be found for this problem.”

The Football League had said last week it would suspend matches from February 13 but the players’ union declared a strike from this week meaning the 15th round of matches, due to take place on Wednesday (February 1) will not go ahead.

With unpaid players wages, a lack of health insurance, a frozen sponsorship deal and no hope of a bailout from a nation already deep in debt second and third tier football in the country appears to be heading towards a Greek tragedy.