A Greek soccer match started several minutes late on Friday when players staged a sit-down protest in the middle of the pitch in a moving tribute to migrants who have lost their lives trying to reach Greece’s Aegean islands.
The protest took place right before the kick off if two second-tier Greek teams, AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos, in the central Greek city of Larissa.
As the match kicked off all 22 outfield players — as well as coaches, officials and substitutes — sat down for two minutes in respect of the hundreds of refugees, this year alone, who have lost their lives trying to escape conflict or persecution in countries like Syria and Iraq.
An announcement over the stadium PA system stated: “The administration of AEL, the coaches and the players will observe two minutes of silence just after the start of the match in memory of the hundreds of children who continue to lose their lives every day in the Aegean due to the brutal indifference of the EU and Turkey.
“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.”
Fact check: The death toll is in the THOUSANDS not hundreds. According to the UN and IOM 3, 771 people lost their lives crossing the Aegean sea to Greece in 2015 and a further 218 people died as of January 28, 2016.