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
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
Ethnikos Piraeus F.C.
Ethnikos Piraeus 1923 F. C. is a Greek professional football club based in Piraeus. They have had a turbulent recent history, and are competing in the third division Football League 2. Colloquially referred to as Ethnikos Piraeus, is a club with teams competing in football, water polo. The clubs most significant teams, in terms of history and success, are their football and water polo teams, prior to 1959–60 Greek football was played in regional championships and then the top teams from each region would advance to play for the National Championship. In some pre-War years a traditional Final match was played between 2 regional champions, but generally the Panhellenic Championship was played as a final round-robin between at least 3 teams, Ethnikos was Piraeus Champion in 1927–28, but lost the National Championship to Aris. The following year Ethnikos was Piraeus Champion once again, but the National Championship was not played, in 1932–33 Ethnikos won the Greek Cup, the club’s only major title. Ethnikos eliminated Apollon in the Quarterfinals and Olympiacos in the Semifinals before meeting Aris in the Final, Ethnikos and Aris played to a 2–2 draw in Thessaloniki, but Ethnikos won the replay 2–1 and took the Cup. Ethnikos won another Piraeus Championship in 1938–39, but lost the South Division by 2 points, Ethnikos reached the Semifinals of the Greek Cup in 1938–39 and 1939–40, but lost to PAOK and Panathinaikos, respectively. The Ethnikos teams of the mid- to late-1950s are considered by many to be Ethnikos’ greatest teams, in 1955–56 Ethnikos finished 2nd in Greece, just 1 point behind champions Olympiakos. In 1956–57 a scandal robbed Ethnikos of the National Championship, with 4 matches left in the National Championship, Ethnikos was favorite for the title, and next on the schedule was Olympiakos, who Ethnikos had already defeated earlier in the season. Ethnikos was docked 4 points and not allowed to play the final 4 matches of the season, from 1959–60 the Greek championship changed to its modern form and the first division became known as Alpha Ethniki. Since 1959–60 Ethnikos is tied for the 8th-most first division participations with 36, along with OFI, ahead of Ethnikos are traditional powers Olympiakos, Panathinaikos, AEK and PAOK as well as Iraklis, Aris and Panionios. During the 1960s Ethnikos’ best league finishes were 5th in 1962–63 and 6th in 1960–61, from 1960–61 to 1968–69 Ethnikos never finished outside the top 10. Ethnikos reached the Semifinals of the Greek Cup twice during the 1960s, in 1967–68 Ethnikos lost in the Semifinals to Panathinaikos. The following year Ethnikos came desperately close to another Cup Final – after defeating PAOK 5–4 in the Quarterfinals, in 1974–75 Ethnikos made its best challenge for the league championship in the modern era. Though never making another challenge for the league championship, Ethnikos remained consistently competitive during the 1970s. Ethnikos’ two best runs in the Greek Cup in the 1970s were halted by PAOK, in 1972-72 Ethnikos lost to PAOK 3–2 in the Semifinals and in 1976–77 Ethnikos was defeated by PAOK in the Quarterfinals. Ethnikos made decent 7th-place finishes in 1979–80 and 1980–81, but the team would struggle through the rest of the 1980s
Atromitos Athens Football Club is an association football club based in Peristeri, Athens that plays in the Superleague Greece. It was founded in 1923 and its ground is Peristeri Stadium. In recent years, Atromitos has been established itself as one of the most competitive and strong clubs in Greece. They were runners-up of the Greek Cup in 2011 and 2012 and have had breakthrough runs in the league, finishing 4th in 2011–12, 3rd in 2012–13, 4th in 2013–14 and 4th as well in 2014–15 season. Their best performance in the league has been the third place, in 1924, Atromitos was accepted into the Greek football league. At the time, Atromitos played at Aris Park, which was the ground of Panellinios and Panathinaikos. During their first season in the leagues first division, they ended in third place behind Panathinaikos, in 1928, they defeated Goudi 4–3 in the final game at Rouf Stadium to become champions of Athens. That same year, they part in the first Panhellenic Championship as Athens champions. On 24 May 1928, they were beaten 3–1 by Aris Thessaloniki in an away game, on 10 June, they managed a draw at home against Ethnikos, before losing again to Aris 3–1 seven days later. Overall in the championship, Atromitos finished third. During the following two years, Atromitos stayed in the part of the first division of Athens, and in 1929, they finished third behind Panathinaikos. They repeated the feat in 1930 but they were relegated from the first division of Athens in 1931, in 1932, Ioseph Chourouktsoglou and Nikolaos Epioglou decided to move Atromitos to Peristeri. Earlier, it was located in the area as Panathinaikos. There, they formed a merger with the team of Astir Peristeriou, from which comes the crest of Atromitos. Before occupation of Greece, they played again in Panhellenic championship in the season of 1938–39, Atromitos played in second division until May 1972 when, under the coaching of Savva Papazoulou, they were re-promoted to the first level. It proved a change too hard to handle, and they were demoted the following year, in 1975, a better-prepared Atromitos returned to the first division with a large fanbase, and ended the year in 13th place, securing their spot in the top flight. In 1976 they improved to end the season in 9th place, by 1981, Atromitos had succeeded in attracting renowned players such as Stylianopoulos, Álvarez, Toskas and Athanasopoulos. However, despite expectations, the club played for the last time in the top flight
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
Hellenic Football Federation
The Hellenic Football Federation, also known as the Greek Football Federation is the governing body of football in Greece. It contributes in the organisation of Super League Greece and organizes the Greek football Cup, the Hellenic Football Federation was founded in 1926, by a decision of the three major Unions of the country. Its foundation marked the organization of Greek football in compliance with international standards, since then, the HFF has grown into the biggest sports federation in Greece, as football in the country is regarded as the king of sports coming first in the preferences of sports fans. The HFF is considered a legal entity and a non-profit organization with registered offices in Athens. It is the only exclusively qualified body in Greece to represent the interests of Greek football and prohibits any political, in 1927, the HFF became a member of FIFA and in 1954 became one of the first members of UEFA. Amongst its obligations as member of international bodies, the HFF accepts the statutes, regulations, directives and decisions issued by FIFA and UEFA. The HFF also has to ensure that they are accepted by all individuals, based on this FIFA concluded that Greece would not be able to meet its 15 July 2006 deadline and should therefore be suspended until further notice. There were also doubts cast over whether the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final will be played at the Athens Olympic Stadium as previously scheduled. On the 7 July 2006, however, the Greek Government ratified a new version of the law, granting the HFF independence –. FIFA announced the lifting of its ban that day, judging that the amendments adhered to FIFA and UEFA statutes and this allowed Greece to defend their European Championship in 2008 and also allowed Greek clubs to participate in European competitions. On December 11,2008, president Vassilis Gagatsis resigned from his position, new elections were held on January 17,2009, making Giorgos Sarris the new president. In April 2013, the HFF announced its new partnership with NIKE, the initial probe into the incident involved approximately 80 individuals suspected of wrongdoing. Olympiacos FC owner, Evangelos Marinakis, was accused of using his position in Greek football and special relationship with the President of the HFF. Marinakis was later acquitted from all charges by the Prosecutor and the Council of Judges, in February 2012, the Superleague Greece with the agreement of the Hellenic Football Federation achieved the replacement of the two football prosecutors with two others. The 2015 Greek football scandal emerged on 6 April 2015 when prosecutor Aristidis Korreas 173-page work was revealed, telephone tapping operated by the National Intelligence Service of Greece since 2011 has played a significant role in the case. The HFF has also been subject to allegations of crimes including blackmail. In November 2013, a team of prosecutors raided the headquarters of the Federation in order to find evidence of illegal activity, there have been allegations that some of the teams have failed to pay their taxes by submitting fake documents. Since 2015, is also under judicial investigation another case, regarding the existence of an economic scheme in the Greek referees society