It has been a Christmas tradition for the players of Greece's national team to visit a charity institution for children, meet the kids, spend time there and assist them financially.
This year, however, they decided on a different course. Conscious that the tough financial situation in Greece has affected the flow of donations into charitable organisations, they decided to help not one, but 13 children's institutions and charity foundations across the country. They also enlisted the four basic sponsors of the national team, with each sponsor picking an institution or foundation to support.
On Thursday, instead of visiting one specific institution, national team members invited a large group of children to the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) headquarters. Waiting at the Goudi premises were Greek internationals Vassilis Torossidis, Fanis Gekas, Charis Mavrias and Elini Dimoutsos. The youngsters also got to play a football match with those players as their coaches and team-mates.
In addition, the event featured an exhibition game involving members of the senior, Under-21, U19 and U17 women's teams of Greece. Also present were the technical staffs of the men's senior, U21 and U19 sides.
The president of the EPO, Giorgos Sarris, thanked the players for their initiative, called 'Football shares the love', saying: "Their decision to help 13 charity institutions proves that Greek internationals are not detached from society and its problems. We are proud of them, not only for their high-standard performances on the pitch, but also for their active social work and sensitivity."
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