Cyprus Mail
Sport

Paphos and Ethnikos face off for survival

Champions APOEL will not get their hands on the trophy on Sunday due to opposition from fans over the CFA chief (front, second front left) wearing a Turkish football jersey

PAFOS FC and Ethnikos Achnas will play for their first division survival on Sunday when they meet in Pafos in the only game that really matters in the final round of the season.

Pafos FC need to win the game to stay in the top flight while Ethnikos need just a point to avoid the drop.

Paphos FC, who let slip a seven-point lead over their rivals, have decided to allow free entry for their fans in the hope that a large partisan crowd will push them towards victory and subsequently top-level football for next season.

Their coach Apostolos Markides will have all players at his disposal for the crucial fixture.

Ethnikos are on the back of a six-game unbeaten run and they are favourites to clinch a result that will keep them in the first division.
Coach Danilo Dončić will be unable to call upon the services of his highly regarded defenders Adanta and Besera who are both suspended for the game.

Ethnikos club official Tommys Kouis praised his team’s fighting spirit and said that even if they are relegated they will still be proud of the way they battled until the end against all the odds.

Top referee Vassilis Demetriou has been appointed to officiate the game.

APOEL, champions for a fourth straight year, were due to receive their trophy at the end of Sunday’s game against Anorthosis from Cyprus Fooball Association (CFA) chairman Costakis Koutsokoumnis.

However this has been put off until Monday as the Nicosia side’s supporters objected to the CFA chairman being present at the game due to the recent incident when he was photographed wearing a Turkish football jersey during a friendly match in Istanbul.

Instead, Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos will be giving out the medals and a replica trophy.

Second-placed AEK are away to Nea Salamina with a player from each side, Alves and Makriev respectively, hoping to score at least one goal to draw level with APOEL’s Fernando Cavenaghi at the top of the scoring chart.

Cup finalists Apollon and Omonia will field a number of second string players to avoid any injuries to key stars.

The remaining two matches are between Aris and Doxa and Ermis and AEL.

Champions Group
Apollon vs Omonia, Nea Salamina vs AEK (Saturday at 19.00)
APOEL vs Anorthosis (Sunday at 18.00)

Relegation Group (all games at 17.00)
Pafos FC vs Ethnikos Achnas
Ermis Aradippou vs AEL
Aris vs Doxa Katokopias



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