By Angelos Anastasiou
THE Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK) issued a warning yesterday with regard to the state of the stands at Tsireio stadium, Limassol’s largest, which it claimed poses risks to the health and safety of those attending sporting events.
In a written statement, ETEK cited a consultancy study performed by a civil engineer which “specifically describes problems observed in parts of the stands, which need to be addressed even on a temporary basis before the stadium hosts any events likely to draw large crowds.”
With a capacity of some 13,000 seated spectators, the stadium was built in 1975 and currently serves as the home ground of Limassol-based football clubs AEL, Apollon and Aris, as well as Kyperounda-based APEP Pitsilias. The consultant’s study, dated March 15, includes a number of suggestions with a view to addressing the risks posed by the condition of the stands.
ETEK head Stelios Achniotis told the Cyprus Mail that the Chamber was supplied with a copy of the engineering study from the Limassol municipality after it asked to be informed on rumours of structural problems in the stadium.
“The study describes structural issues in the stadium’s eastern stand, which could pose risks to the health and safety of the crowds,” Achniotis said, declining to describe the nature of the stands’ issue, or the kind of risk spectators could be subject to.
“Upon reading the report, we realised the problems it highlighted and sent our opinion to the Limassol municipality, the Cyprus Sports Organisation and the Olympia Athletics Club,” he said.
While sources indicate that the municipality received the report on March 15, Limassol mayor Andreas Christou declined to comment.
“I have not yet seen this report and would not like to offer comments on issues I have not studied,” he said.
But while Achniotis was unable to confirm or deny any measures taken since the report was prepared, ETEK’s statement said that several major sporting events have been held at the stadium since the report, and that more such high-attendance games are imminently scheduled at the stadium. This raised serious questions with regard to the “actions of the owner, the competent local authority and the licensing body to secure the safe use of the stadium,” he said.
The next game at the stadium is scheduled for next week between Apollon and Anorthosis for the Cyprus league, with five more high-attendance games scheduled to be held there until the league ends in mid-May.
“The issue,” ETEK said, “is extremely serious and should be handled urgently. To this end, ETEK calls on the Limassol municipality, the Cyprus Sports Organisation and the Olympia Club to take all appropriate measures in their remit to safeguard against any irreversible and tragic consequences or damage.”