Olympiacos/Besiktas...The Matchup That Was Postponed 59 Years
Olympiacos and Besiktas will matchup tomorrow for the first time ever in a European cup, however the luck of the draw paired the two teams together in the 1959 European Cup.
About 59 years ago, the then dominant champions of Greece during that time period, Olympiacos, were set to play in their first ever European competition, the 1959 European Cup. However, the luck of the draw was not so lucky as the Erythrolefki were paired up with Turkish side Besiktas during a period where Greek/Turkish relations were extremely tense due to the issue of Cyprus, which was still under British occupation.
Both teams wanted to avoid a trip to the opposing country and Besiktas proposed that the two-legged fixtures be held at a neutral site (Belgrade), something that did not benefit the Greek side at all. Unfortunately at that point in time, Olympiacos were still an “amateur” club, both economically and roster wise, and that option was clearly not a possibility.
In July 1958 the Board of Directors were left with no choice but to remove Olympiacos from the competition and Besiktas were awarded the win, advancing to the next round. There they were defeated by the eventual winners Real Madrid (4th straight title) 1-1 and 2-0 over two legs.
On Thursday, the two clubs will meet for the first time in a matchup that was postponed for 59 years...