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Greek football club banned from refugee shirt protest

Greek football players of AEL Larissa F.C (L), who have been banned from wearing refugee crisis awareness messages on their shirts, and Acharnaikos F.C held a sit-in protest at the start of a match in favor of migrants and refugees January 29, 2016 © AFP/File / Nichalis MPATZIOLAS

LARISSA, Greece, Dec 16Greek top flight football club Larissa said Friday that they have been banned from wearing shirts bearing a slogan highlighting Europe’s refugee crisis.

Players were planning to have ‘The refugee children are our children’ splashed across the front of their shirts but Greek officials rejected their idea as a “highly political message.”

“In order to maintain our dignity and complete independence, we decided not to succumb to petty financial proposals in relation to sponsoring our jerseys,” said a Larissa statement.

“Instead, we decided to send a strong message for one of the major social and humanitarian issues of our time, reflecting the phrase ‘The refugee children are our children’.”

Larissa is one of many Greek cities where thousands of refugees arriving from Africa and the Middle East have been housed during the recent migrant crisis.

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