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Cyprus

Fury after Limassol sports club signs new contract for marathon

marathon

Three of the four bodies organising the Limassol marathon on Tuesday joined forces against the Olympia sports club (GSO) who, as they said, showed “unprecedent disrespect” by unilaterally signing an agreement with a new contractor for the island’s largest sports event.

In a joint statement, Limassol municipality, Limassol’s chamber of commerce and industry (EVEL) and ETAL, said they are disappointed the GSO “rejected cooperation” and with its unilateral actions “is attempting to damage a successful institution that was the pride of the entire city”.

They argued that the sports club was misleading the other city bodies about its alleged desire for transparency and cooperation.

A few days after they signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation between the four entities, the GSO went behind their back to promote other agreements, the statement said.

The three bodies were referring to the GSO’s decision to proceed with an agreement with a new contractor for the annual Limassol marathon, after the marathon’s former organising company for the past 11 years did not accept all the terms included in the memorandum. The municipality, EVEL and ETAL believe that this change will damage the famous sports event.

For its part, the sports club noted how it is in charge of choosing the contractor company.

“The memorandum says it is the GSO that decides the terms of the agreement and chooses the contractor,” the president of the Olympia sports club (GSO) board of directors, Kyriacos Tsolakis had said on Monday.

He was speaking after a press conference on the issue that arose after the previous contractor announced it will hold its own Opap Limassol marathon on the same dates – March 18 and 19 – as the new contractor. To this end, GSO’s legal team exchanged letters with the municipality to find a solution.

GSO’s statements “projected an image completely alien to the institutions and tradition of the city, which wants everyone to work together in a spirit of goodwill, prudence and mutual respect,” said the three city bodies in their joint announcement.

They also called on GSO to “return to serving the greater good of the city and not any other interests”.

LimassolmMarathon is the largest sports event in Cyprus with international recognition featuring six races and four parallel events. The 14th marathon took place earlier this year, after being cancelled for two years because of the pandemic.

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