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The two Superleague clubs based in Heraklion, Ergotelis and OFI, maintain a rivalry that can be traced back to socio-political roots. Characteristic of this animosity, the first ever game between the two teams, a friendly match in 1929, ended after 35 minutes. Ergotelis were ahead by 1–0, when the game had to be abandoned after violence between the players broke out.
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After the junta's collapse in 1974, several attempts were made to bring the team back to Greek football reality, however most of these were met with failure. As a result, Ergotelis struggled between the lower regional and national competitions for over 30 years. Ergotelis managed not to go completely unnoticed during these years however, achieving some notable breakthroughs in the 80s, along the way to a rebirth.
In recent years, both sides have shown good will in maintaining this rivalry on the pitch only. Furthermore, OFI fans celebrated Ergotelis' promotion and attended home games during the club's first season in the Superleague. Ergotelis on the other hand, loaned their longtime scoring legend Patrick Ogunsoto to a financially weakened Beta Ethniki side OFI in 2010 for no fee, as an attempt to assist their prestigious rival in their struggle to once again return to the Super League.
Ergotelis briefly resurfaced in the mid-90s, spending two consecutive seasons in the Gamma Ethniki during 1996–98, after winning the Delta Ethniki 1995–96 Group 2 championship. It would then take another 5 years for the club to re-emerge, and this time complete a full comeback.
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