PAS (A Greek language acronym translating to “Panepirote Athletic Society”) is a football club based in the northwestern lakeside town of Ioannina, the capital of Greece’s Epirus region. After the 2004-5 football season, the team remained in Greece’s Northern Tertiary Division. The club is probably best known among Greek football spectators for its fervent support and the rebellious anti-establishment attitude of many of its fans.
PAS was formulated in 1966 as a result of the union of the two local teams Atromitos and Averof. During its peak years in the 1970s and early 1980s, the provincial club was bolstered by the acquisition of six Argentine players of Greek descent (Oscar Alvarez, Edouardo Rigani, Juan Montez, Jose Pasternac, Alfredo Glasman and Edouardo Lisa) and procured two impressive 5th place finishes and one 6th place finish in the National Championship, often earning victories over Greece’s more established big city teams such as Olympiakos, Panathinaikos, AEK and PAOK. The club’s effective and spirited play during its prime drew flattering comparisons with that of the renowned Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam, and the moniker “Ajax of Epirus” has stuck with the team ever since.
Despite languishing in the lower divisions beginning in the mid 1980s, PAS has since experienced a mild resurgence and has managed to be promoted to the National Division twice since 2000. The club was relegated after the 2000-1 season following a controversial playoff with OFI Crete and again after the 2002-3 season following sanctions imposed on it by the Greek football association (EPO) due to outstanding debts. The club has never won the National Championship or the Greek Cup, but it earned the honor of representing the Greek football league in the 1979 and 1993 Balkans Cup tournaments and has won lower division titles throughout its history. The most famous player to have donned the blue and white PAS jersey in recent years is defender Giourkas Seitaridis, who later played for Panathinaikos, FC Porto and Dynamo Moscow as well as the triumphant Euro 2004 Greece squad.
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