In Patras and more specifically in the area of the Rio-3days 4-7/7-, took place the «2ns Antifa Football Festival» which this year was organized by the Autonomous P.O., taking turn after Liberta of Volos hosted it last season.
Children from Thessaloniki, Athens and Volos, but also from many locations throughout Greece and abroad attended the festival organised by the 4 autonomous groups in the country, creating their own mark in the history of local football.
Autonomous P.O., Asteras Eksarhion , Progressive Toumba, Liberta «Eleftheriakos » the guys from «Antifa League », our friends from «Athens Klub »of St. Pauli and the St.Pauli of Salonica, along with many antifascists from many parts of the country, created a diverse and colorful puzzle with common background … a star (!)
On Friday 4/7 Olgas Square, there was a screening relating to fascism and football, the World Cup which was marred by Mussolini in 1934, the Olympics in ’36 which became manipulated by Hitler, but also a reference to Franco and troubled Spain in the 30’s who experienced the regime of fascism was the best start for a fascist tournament.
We then transferred the “action” to PROKAT 35 with a Live concert, and it was a great show….even though some “northerners”… had to trek their ways through the narrow streets of Rio until they could find the location of the concert. :) We are sure they appreciated the “beauty” of the local construction work happening in the area! :D
On Saturday, the day started with a strong presence of almost all groups in the anti-fascist march-in support of the neighbourhoos of Pantanassas followed by the first official day of the football tournament. The heat was unbearable but Asteras Exarcheion and APO refreshed … with goals the spectators, with last year’s title holders going through to the final with a 4-3 win(!). In the second semifinal, local people and Salonicans played real football and gave us thrilling moments, with the final 2-1 for Liberta I think is still being celebrated!
The evening certainly was not the best, since one of the many obstacles prevented us conducting the “Rebettiko”feast, with the «party» being more of a punishment, instead of fun … Even so, until the morning slogans echoed the air and beer flowed constantly thus leaving a part of the world satisfied!
The “magic” of the tournament was Sunday 6/7. Not only because the discussion was the most constructive one we have experienced in our 2 years of attending the Fest, but because everything was perfect in all respects.
In conversation we chose not to fall into wishful thinking and appraisals so we first decided to “break the ice” to our brothers, presenting our concerns and our mistakes. We talked about everything that have created barriers and asked opinions, thoughts etc. And instead of getting generalities and talk without much substance, all our comrades not only answered, but they shared and their own “black” points, giving us the joy of honesty and respect … How could someone not feel content after such an honest and rewarding discussion?
The arrival of the brothers of the «Antifa League» was important for the development of conversation and debate, having raised other bases, other optical viewpoints to the discussions being held.
In Rio awaited the grand final. The biggest football ‘parody’, Proodeftiki vs Aftonomi played for the crowd and we can sincerely say that the match even at the penalty shootout never really finished.
After the first half (3-4), all the crowd became entangled players, coaches, fans, which gave us moments that you cannot really experience in any stadium! The game went into the background, as it should be. At the end (5-5) nobody knew who was really wearing red/black, and who black/mauve and certainly if you were looking to find someone in the crowd without a smile, you would not have succeeded!
The crazy gang … Oscar, George and the other «freestyler» from the «Antifa League» could not resist putting on their own show at the small handball pitch in Rio and showed the crowd a bit of their own optical viewpoint of how they themselves look at the world’s premier sport.
On the pitch, the Liberta and-as always-the Mixed team of Asteras Exarchion struggled in the grand final of the festival, with the crowd giving its own distinctive color in the stands, as the score remained 1-1.
And as fitting for a tournament that respects itself, we needed penalties to celebrate a winner. The Liberta won 5-4 on penalties, with fans of Asteras being particularly apt from the penalty spot, but evidently the REpresentatives of Tsipouro (a Greek local drink) where the ultimate winners.
Of course, the cup nearly reached Athens via a ….. kidnapping, but the real winners managed to retrieve it from the Athenians, who tried in every way to make it their own. :)
The evening concluded with the comrades leave for their respective towns… and the people of Patras reminiscing the sweet memory of an amazing tournament.
Plus, as we often say around here for the famous Patras Carnival, “when one fest is completed, start the preparations for the next!”
So, let’s say goodbye to the «2ndAntifa Football Festival» and let’s welcome the … «3rd Antifa Football Festival», wherever it hosted …
PS1: We can not neglect to mention the … guys with amazing Hawaiian shirts who stole everyones attention once again (!) Information say that they found their way to Antirrio and almost never made it to Patras …
PS3: Particularly ‘grumpy’ where our friends from Volos due to the … lack of a whistle in the semifinal. As if the referee could hold together and beer and whistle!!!