Some €2.2m will be spent on upgrading track and field facilities, while special emphasis will be given to bringing football stadiums into line with the requirements of the licensing authority, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos announced on Friday.
These were two of the decisions taken at three separate meetings chaired by President Nicos Anastasiades on sport issues. A fourth meeting is scheduled for Monday.
He said that it was decided that €1.7m will be spent this year on improving the track and field facilities at the GSP stadium and its auxiliary field. Another €400,000 will be earmarked for the Stelios Kyriakides stadium in Paphos.
It was agreed that next year’s budget will contain funds for improvements at the GSZ stadium in Larnaca, provided the relevant studies have been completed and the required permits issued.
Ensuring football stadiums satisfy the demands of the stadium licensing authority was the focus of a separate meeting which agreed that there were problems as regards safety, implementation of provisions in the law to prevent and address fan violence, and accessibility for the disabled among other issues.
The meeting decided to give priority to three football stadiums – of Anorthosis, Salamina and Achna — which have the biggest problems.
“It was also agreed that a medium and a long-term plan for which a comprehensive study is needed, should be drawn up to deal with the issue of football stadia as a whole,” Pelekanos said.
These will be financed from the state budget to the tune of €150,000 and depending on their outcome, decisions will be taken regarding the required upgrades.
The possibility of raising the betting tax to create a fund to finance maintenance to stadium facilities was also discussed.
Pelekanos noted that the president will on Monday chair a meeting on the new football stadium under construction in Limassol.
Earlier, the president had kicked off his meetings with discussing on the good governance code for sport federations which some federations financed by the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA) refuse to implement.
In view of this, Pelekanos said that the government will seek to make compliance compulsory by law. Consultations will start with political parties in the immediate future to take this forward.