Panathinaikos and the Greek National Homeless Soccer Team met at the training center of the Greens in Koropi last weekend for an informal soccer get-together, commemorating the “Christmas Truce” at the Western Front in 1914, and following an invitation from the British Embassy in Athens to celebrate human diversity and deliver messages of peace, friendship, solidarity in difficult times and the positive effect of sport.
The Greek homeless team was given a tour around Panathinaikos’s new state-of-the art training center and had the opportunity to meet Panathinaikos players, among which English goalie Luke Steele, formerly of Manchester United.
The two teams trained together in a festive atmosphere of collaboration and team spirit while demonstrating the best of their skills. A friendly match with British Embassy staff followed with many spectacular goals from both sides.
“We are commemorating the 100th anniversary of Christmas Truce just a few days ahead of Christmas 2014, as a historic moment of human solidarity that shone out amid the brutality of the Western Front. The Christmas Truce is another proof of the strength of the human soul and the amazing power of sport, which can be a source of courage and self-confidence even in the most difficult circumstances,” British Ambassador John Kittmer stated.
“Sport can be one of the most valuable vehicles of expression of human dignity and I warmly thank Panathinaikos F.C. and the Greek National Homeless Team for accepting our invitation to participate in this commemorative event,” Kittmer added.
Stratos Sopilis, Vice President and Executive Director of Panathinaikos, said: “We, at Panathinaikos, are always happy to support activities of a social nature such as the Christmas Truce commemoration. It was our pleasure to open up our training center for the Greek national homeless team, and you can be reassured that we are happy to repeat it, whenever needed.”