AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos delayed the start of their second-division game last Friday by sitting down in protest against the authorities’ indifference to the deaths of migrants in the Agean Sea.

The moving gesture took place at AEL FC Arena in Larissa and within two minutes it raised worldwide attention on the issue.

Greece has become the entry point to Europe for many migrants and refugees fleeing conflict zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Many attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea in small boats, and at least 244 died in January, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Both Larissa and Acharnaikos involved all 22 of their field players in the sit-in, including team coaches and substitutes.

The soccer clubs players remained silent for two minutes just after the start of the match out of respect towards the hundreds of children drowning in the Aegean on a daily basis.

“The players of AEL will protest by sitting down for two minutes in an effort to drive the authorities to mobilize all those who seem to have been desensitized to the heinous crimes that are being perpetrated in the Aegean,” a spokeperson said in a message over the loud-speakers.


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