Greek sportscaster and journalist Giannis Diakogiannis, considered the guru of sports including athletics and football, died in Athens on Tuesday. He was 91.
Diakogiannis born in the Greek capital on January 5, 1931, was considered by many to be the top of the genre, due to his extensive knowledge of sports, his depth of broadcasting, and the smoothness of his style.
He studied music in France, but journalism eventually won him over. He covered many top events, including the football World Cups starting in 1954 in Switzerland and ending in 1998 in France.
He covered numerous international competitions and world athletics championships. He was the broadcaster of the 1971 European Champions final at Webley, London where Panathinaikos lost to Dutch champion Ajax, the only time in history a Greek club took part in the top European football competition of the time.
Giannis Diakogiannis commentated during Greece’s triumph in 2004
In 2004 he was a commentator during Greece’s amazing run in Portugal when the National team won the European Cup.
From September 1966 to 1983 he was the main presenter of the weekly sports television show “Sports Sunday” (originally “Sports News”), while in September 1969 he presented the 9th European Athletics Championship, which was held at the “Georgios Karaiskakis” Stadium and was the first broadcast of an athletics competition by a Greek television crew.
He was also a writer. Among his works were the four-volume “100 Years of Football” (Militos, 2006), “60 Years of the World Cup” (Livanis, 1990), and “The Great Forms of Sports” (Kaktos, 1979). He was also a producer of music radio shows.
He was the first to be honored for his contribution to journalism with the “Eleni Vlachou” award in 2003.
Giannis Diakogiannis was a fan of Panathinaikos, something that was widely known in journalistic circles. In January 2017 Diakogiannis publicly admitted for the first time that he is a fan of Panathinaikos, at an event of the Municipality of Vyron for the presentation of the book of the former football player Dimitris Theofanis.
Diakogiannis declared: “I am Panathinaikos because I am Athenian.”
The following video is his last broadcast of a World Cup game in 1998.