Cash-Strapped Greek Sports Teams Find Unusual Sponsors

In a country where sports spending is all but nonexistent, two teams look to local businesses -- specifically, a brothel and a funeral parlor -- for funding.

What's the Latest Development?

Football teams in the neighboring Greek cities of Larissa and Trikala have generated controversy by accepting funding from a brothel and a funeral parlor respectively. The Larissa team, Voukefalas FC, can now be identified by their bright pink shirts with the words "Villa Erotica" stitched on. The Trikala team, Palaiopyrgos FC, now wears black shirts with a big cross as the logo. Due to objections from the local football union, both teams must wear different shirts for matches.

What's the Big Idea?

Funding for both amateur and professional sports has been drastically slashed in Greece, leading athletes to fear for their future. As far as the teams and their sponsors are concerned, the relationships are a win-win. Villa Erotica owner Soula Alevridou believes she's doing good by sponsoring the Larissa team: "I just want Greece to move forward in these difficult times...We all have to stand behind our country. [Villa Erotica] is a legal brothel and I want to help. Why can't I do it?" The football union has filed a protest; union head Marios Spiratos says of the team, "We know [prostitution is] a part of life but we think it's not the right thing for young amateur athletes. Some of the players are under 18 years old."

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