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Limassol marathon up in the air due to small print spat with municipality

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The date for the next Limassol International Marathon is in limbo after Limassol municipality on Monday was accused of not honouring an agreement regarding the organisation of the popular annual sporting event.

The president of the Olympia sports club (GSO) board of directors, Kyriacos Tsolakis claimed that the municipality’s whole attitude is “completely unacceptable and detrimental to the GSO and sports in general”.

The club held a press conference analysing events in the run-up to and after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Limassol Municipality, GSO, Limassol’s chamber of commerce and industry (EVEL) and ETAL and the decision to proceed with an agreement with a new contractor, something that provoked reaction from Limassol municipality, whose municipal council decided to proceed with consultations with the previous contractor.

Tsolakis said GSO was concerned by the municipality’s attitude and wondered how they came to such a decision in the first place, emphasising that “the memorandum says that it is the GSO that decides the terms of the agreement and chooses the contractor”.

The GSO, he continued, adhered to the provisions of the memorandum and the promise it made to the other bodies to give priority to the marathon’s organising company, which has been in charge for the past 11 years, but underlined that, since the company did not accept the terms included in the memorandum, it proceeded with the conclusion of an agreement with a new contractor, who accepted all the terms.

Tsolakis stated that the disagreement with the previous contractor was not related to the financial element of things, but about the issue of transparency.

At the same time, the GSO asked to be informed if it will be granted the dates 18 and 19 March 2023 for the organisation of the marathon, as the mayor of Limassol had confirmed in an earlier letter, dated April 16, 2022. A similar letter, Tsolakis said, was sent by the new contractor and the GSO’s legal advisors, without receiving a specific answer.

Instead, he continued, the municipalities legal advisors sent a letter calling “in an indefinite and unclear way for the GSO to return to the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding in order for all actors to complete together the goal they set”.

The GSO’s lawyers, Tsolakis said have now asked for clarification as to what it is expected they do and whether it should terminate the agreement signed with the new contractor and sign another agreement with the previous contractor and if so, with what content.

Tsolakis said he was unaware of any political interference as the reason behind the Limassol municipality’s insistence on the Limassol Marathon being held by the specific contractor who was rejected.

 

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