The Superleague Greece is the highest professional football league in Greece. It was formed on 16 July 2006 and replaced Alpha Ethniki at the top of the Greek football league system, the league consists of 16 teams and runs from August to May, with teams playing 30 games each. As of May 2013, Superleague Greece is ranked 12th in the UEFA ranking of leagues, the current champions are Olympiacos, who have won a total of 43 titles. Between 1905 and 1912, a Panhellenic Championship was organised by the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics and this championship was actually a local tournament among clubs from Athens and Piraeus. After the Balkan Wars and World War I, two associations were formed, one organising a football league in Athens and Piraeus. These were the Athens-Piraeus FCA and the Macedonia FCA, in 1923, a Panhellenic Champion was determined by a play-off game between the Athens-Piraeus and the Thessaloniki champions. Peiraikos Syndesmos won 3-1 against Aris Thessaloniki and this panhellenic final was not repeated the following year as the EPSAP was split into the Athens FCA and Piraeus FCA following a dispute. In 1927, a championship was organised in the form of a round-robin tournament between the champions of the three governing bodies. This time, Aris Thessaloniki won, finishing ahead of Ethnikos Piraeus and this national championship was set up again in 1929, and over the next years evolved into a tournament in which multiple teams took part. Still, these teams had to qualify for the championship through their local football competitions. In 1959 the Alpha Ethniki - the precursor of the current Superleague - was set up as a national round-robin tournament, at present,16 clubs compete in the Superleague, playing each other in a home and away series. At the end of the season, the three clubs are relegated to Football League. In their place, the top three teams from Football League are promoted, the number of teams to be relegated may change, depending on a licensing procedure that takes place at the end of the regular season. The league was reduced from 18 teams to 16 following the 2014–15 season, the Superleague is currently entitled to two entrants into the UEFA Champions League. The Superleague champion directly enters the stage of the UEFA Champions League. The second through fifth place teams in the Superleague enter a play-off for the second Greek entry, the play-off winner enters the UEFA Champions Leagues third qualifying round, a two-legged tie from which the winner advances to the play offs of the UEFA Champions League. The winner of the Greek Cup automatically qualifies for the UEFA Europa League, in the play-off for the UEFA Champions League, the teams play each other in a home and away round robin. However, they do not all start with 0 points, instead, a weighting system applies to the teams standing at the start of the play-off mini-league
Apollon Smyrni F.C.
Apollon Smyrni F. C. or in its full name Gymnasticos Syllogos Apollon Smyrnis is a Greek football club based in the city of Athens, that plays in the Super League. It was founded in Smyrna in 1891 and is one of the oldest sports clubs in Greece, Apollon has departments in football, basketball, volleyball, water polo and other sports. Apollon Smyrna was founded in 1891 by former members of club Orpheus, Orpheus had been founded one year earlier in 1890. Among the founders of Apollon were prominent residents of Smyrna such as Chrysostomos of Smyrna, roughly in the year of 1893, the athletic department was organised. The first games of Smyrna took place in 1894, organized by the English sports fans of Bornova, in these games the athletes of Apollon achieved a lot of first victories. The person with the most wins was Theologos Anastasoglou, an athlete who later became Olympic champion. The Games were always organized by English sports fans until 1903, the third anniversary of the foundation of Apollon was celebrated joyously. Chairman N. Koulmasis gave the speech of the day, while the famous S. Pittakis spoke of Delphi and recited the anthem to the god Apollo. There was a pedestal on which had been set up an altar to praise the god Apollo. In 1894, with the election of its new presiding board, of the first excursions that were organized, one was to Ephesus and another to Aidini, in which the Russian scholar and historical Frigkol took part. In 1894, the council of the Gymnastic Association of Apollon was composed of chairman Mathaios Provatopoulos, sofianopoulos, G. Oikonomidis, A. Koulampidis and C. During this season the team acquired a privately owned ground, initially, only its members fought on these. Later, however it organized games in other associations could also take part. Apollon acquired its own stadium in 1894, at this point we should examine a little the background of the foundation of the first ground of Apollon. Fourteen years before, in 1880, Ioannis Damvergis with Apostolos Psaltof, Stefanos Papamihalis, makroulidis, all students of the Evangelic Faculty of Smyrni, created an off-hand gym in some open space, known with the name love arena. After they opened the ground, they set up a perimeter using ropes because of a lack of money, then, with hard economising, they bought a horizontal bar and other gymnastic equipment. The youth of Smyrni exercised there paying a symbolic price and this primitive gym constituted the precursor of the gym of Apollo, but was also the fountain for the later great athletes of the association. For this reason, the creator of this gym, Apostolos Psaltof, was called the grandfather of Apollon
Aris Thessaloniki F.C.
Created in 1914 as Aris Thessaloniki Football Club, the club was a founding member of Macedonian Football Clubs Association as well as the Hellenic Football Federation. The colours of the club are yellow of glory, dominant colour in the culture of Macedonia, such as reminiscent of the Byzantine heritage of Thessaloniki, and black. It is named after Ares, the ancient Olympian God of War, associated also with courage and masculinity, Aris was also one of the most popular and strongest teams in Greece during the Interwar period. The club was established as a club by a group of 22 young friends in a coffee bar in Votsi area on 25 March 1914 and given the name Aris from Ares. Its nickname was inspired by the two Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, when Greece fought against the Ottoman Empire before engaging in a war with Bulgaria. In Greek mythology, Aris was a deity who was in conflict with Heracles, Aris holds a fierce rivalry with paok and Olympiakos. In the beginning the club was based on a near the Arch and Tomb of Galerius, the first stadium was built on the site where Mars Field Park currently lies on Stratou Avenue. Quickly the club became popular and soon new teams apart from football were established. During this early stage of football in Greece no professional league was established, instead, three minor leagues were created, with the champions of each league competing in a postseason mini tournament to claim the title of the national champion. The first official game was held in 1923 against Megas Alexandros Thessaloniki and that year marked the first title, when Aris was named regional champion of Macedonia, something that was repeated next year. In 1926 the club was renamed Athletic Club Aris Thessaloniki to include other sports than football. In the first race on 24 May, the team of Thessaloniki prevailed 3–1 Atromitos Athens, in iterative matches played in June in Thessaloniki, Aris won both of his opponents by 3–1 and thus crowned the first champion of Greece. The following year, it was held the stage of national championships although Aris won the championship title in Thessaloniki. The first took place on 12 May 1929 and ended 1–1, while the second was held on 2 June with Aris to beats 4–3, on 20 April 1929, the first friendly match took place between Aris and Panathinaikos, the yellows to defeat 5–4. The second championship came four years later in 1932, only time his opponents were Olympiakos, Panathinaikos, AEK, Ethnikos, paok. Four years after winning the first Panhellenic title, the won the championship. Leading scorer of the league emerged Nikos Kitsos with 15 goals, big stars of that team were Kitsos, Agelakis, Caltech, and Vogdanou Gkikopoulos while coach De Valera. That same year, the EPO instituted for the first time the Greek Cup and this was followed by victory over Apollo Athens, to reach the final where they lost 5–3 from AEK Athens, losing the chance to win the first doubles
The Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics is Greeces governing body for amateur sport. SEGAS was created in 1897 and has been the organiser of many international sporting competitions held in Greece. SEGAS is putting together the Athens Classic Marathon taking place in November this year, the president of the association is Vassilis Sevastis. When two Greek sprinters were barred from the Athens Olympics in 2004 for drug abuse, SEGAS set up an independent tribunal to review the ban and they are located at 137 Syngrou Avenue, Nea Smirni, Athens