Panathinaikos F. C. also known simply as Panathinaikos, or with its full name Panathinaikos A. O. are a Greek professional football club based in the City of Athens. Panathinaikos can literally be translated as Panathenaic, which means of all Athens, today a part of Panathinaikos A. O. they are the oldest active football club in Greece, initially founded only to practice this sport. Amongst their major titles are twenty-six Greek Championships, twenty-one Greek Cups, achieving eight times the Double, and five official Greek Super Cups. They are also the club that won a championship undefeated, going without a loss in a top-flight campaign. Panathinaikos is also the most successful Greek club in terms of achievements in the European competitions and it is the only Greek team that has reached the European Cup final in 1971, and also the semi-finals twice, in 1985 and 1996. It is also the only Greek team that has played for the Intercontinental Cup, furthermore, they have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League on another two occasions, as well as the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup twice. They have also won the Balkans Cup in 1977, Panathinaikos is a member of the European Club Association. Panathinaikos became professional and independent in 1979 and they have played their home games in the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, considered their traditional home ground, and the Athens Olympic Stadium. The club has million of fans inside Greece and millions of others in the Greek communities all over the world and they hold a long-term rivalry with Olympiacos, the clash between the two teams being referred to as the Derby of the eternal enemies. The name of the new club was Podosferikos Omilos Athinon and it was founded with the aim of spreading and making more known this new sport to the Athenian and Greek public in general. Also, intension of the founders was to create a team for all of Athens and to be connected with the rest of the European football movement, the first president elected was Alexandros Kalafatis, brother of Giorgos. The ground of the team was in Patission Street, oxford University athlete John Cyril Campbell was brought in as coach, the first time that a foreigner was appointed as the coach of a Greek team. Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, the great Greek athlete of the early 20th century, in 1910, after a dispute among a number of board members, Kalafatis with most of the players—also followed by Campbell—decided to pull out of POA and secured a new ground in Amerikis Square. Subsequently, the name of the changed to Panellinios Podosferikos Omilos and its colours to green. By 1914, Campbell had returned to England but the club was already at the top of Greek football with such as Michalis Papazoglou, Michalis Rokkos. In 1918, the team adopted the trifolium as its emblem, in 1921 and 1922, the Athens-Piraeus FCA organized the first two post-WWI championships, in both of which PPO was declared champion. After long discussions with the Municipality of Athens, an agreement was finally reached, the move to a permanent home ground also heralded another—final—name change to Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos, Panathenaic Athletic Club, on 15 March 1924, from now on a multi-sport club. However, the decision was taken by 1922
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
Olympiacos dominating success can be further evidenced by the fact that all other Greek clubs have won a combined total of 37 League titles. They are also one of three clubs to have never been relegated from the top flight of Greek football. They have also won the Balkans Cup in 1963, becoming the first ever Greek club to win an international, Olympiacos is one of the founding members of the European Club Association in 2008. The clubs home ground is the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, Olympiacos is the most popular Greek club with around four million fans inside Greece and millions of others in the Greek communities all over the world. Olympiacos was placed ninth on the 2006 list of clubs with the largest number of paying members, in 2014, that figure increased and the team boasts 98,000 registered members. They share a great and long-standing rivalry with Panathinaikos, with whom they contest the derby of the eternal enemies, Olympiacos was founded on 10 March 1925, in the port of Piraeus. Notis Kamperos, a officer of the Hellenic Navy, proposed the name Olympiacos. Michalis Manouskos, a prominent Piraeus industrialist, expanded the name to its complete and current status, Andrianopoulos, a family of well-established Piraeus merchants, played a pivotal role in the founding of Olympiacos. The five brothers, Yiannis, Dinos, Giorgos, Vassilis and Leonidas Andrianopoulos raised the reputation of the club and brought it to its current glory. Yiannis, Dinos, Giorgos and Vassilis were the first to play, while Leonidas, back then, their fan base consisted mainly of the working class, with the teams home ground at Neo Phaliron Velodrome, before moving to its current Karaiskakis Stadium. They became Piraeus Champions in 1925 and 1926, in 1926, the Hellenic Football Federation was founded and organized the Panhellenic Championship in the 1927–1928 season. The Panhellenic Championship was organized in this manner up until 1958–59, during the course of that season, the three of them played friendly games with each other and formed a group called P. O. K. Those results ignited an enthusiastic reception from the Greek press, who called Olympiacos Thrylos for the first time in history, Olympiacos put in a great performance during the competition and won the title very convincingly with 11 wins,2 draws and only one game lost. They managed to score 7 wins in 7 matches at home, beating Panathinaikos, AEK Athens, Aris, Iraklis and PAOK with the same score, the sole exception was the match against Ethnikos, where Olympiacos netted 4 goals and won with 4–1. The rise of the new decade marked a rise in Panhellenic Championships popularity throughout Greece. In October 1931, Giorgos and Yiannis Andrianopoulos, emblematic players and founding members of Olympiacos, especially Giannis Vazos, Christoforos Raggos and Theologos Symeonidis composed a formidable trio of attacking players, scoring numerous goals and became nothing short of legendary. In addition, the managed to win the 1936–37 and 1937–38 Championship titles undefeated. On 28 October 1940, Fascist Italy invaded Greece, and several Olympiacos players joined the Hellenic Army to fight against the Axis invaders, chistoforos Raggos was heavily injured in his left leg in January 1941, and wasnt able to play football again
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
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