An amateur football team in Greece has come up with a novel way of getting around the country's economic turmoil. Voukefalas Larissa has struck a sponsorship deal with two local brothels.
The emblems of The Villa Erotica and Soula's House of History appear on the team’s garish pink shirts.Small teams have been looking for new ways to finance themselves amid harsh government cutbacks.
"Unfortunately amateur soccer, in which I have been personally involved administratively for the last three years, has been abandoned by practically everyone. There is no financial support from the state or from other responsible organizations,” explains Yiannis Batziolas, President of Voukefalas Larissa.
“This year, because of the more general financial crisis, that has affected us greatly. We were forced to seek any type of financial support for the club so that we could survive. It was a matter of survival, because otherwise we would have a problem participating in the league."
The move has caused controversy with league organizers banning the logos during matches saying it violates 'the sporting ideal' and is unsuitable for underage supporters.
However, one of the brothels’ owners, Soula Alevridou, says the moral outrage is a case of hypocrisy.
"They advertise sports betting firms, various lottery and sports betting games, what are these? Aren't they gambling? And this brothel sponsorship bothers them? Forget it. It's a false sense of outrage. Hypocrisy," he says.