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Cyprus

No agreement on nearly completed Limassol stadium

limassol new stadium
File Photo

The new Limassol stadium is at risk of remaining unutilised, as no agreement has been reached for its use by the three football clubs of the district.

Apollon, AEL and Aris are currently using the Tsirio stadium, which has been deemed unsuitable to host 100 per cent capacity.

However, no agreement was reached on Wednesday during the House education committee on the issue in the presence of the legal service, representatives of the office of the commissioner for state aid control and the auditor general.

During the session, MPs highlighted the risk of the nearly completed stadium in Kolossi remaining unused if there is no agreement between the Cyprus Football Association (KOA) and the clubs.

KOA chairman Andreas Michaelides said that the finalised agreement with the three Limassol clubs has already been made, which was sent to the state aid control and the legal service for approval.

But the state aid control commissioner, Stella Michaelidou, said she has nothing in her hands as final on behalf of KOA to send to the European Commission for evaluation.

In a statement after the meeting, AEL president Andreas Sofokleous said the agreement they have been given, if signed, will result in them not being able to manage the stadium, which is not what the club wants.

“Thanks, but no thanks,” he said, explaining that “Limassol teams were under the impression that they would get the management of the stadium.”

He said the team will either seek support from the state to construct their own stadium or buy the new stadium themselves.

Akel MP Andreas Kafkalias said searching for a solution that will lead to an agreement “is a dead end”.

“The responsibility for a positive outcome lies with the government and the KOA, who, as it turns out, have backtracked on previous commitments,” he said, and expressed hope that the coming days would lead to a conclusion on this issue.

For his part, Diko MP Chrysanthos Savvidis said that during today’s debate, MPs have heard “grotesque things” in relation to what happened from the beginning when the stadium was being built until now that it is ready.

Meanwhile, the three clubs can continue using Tsirio stadium only until November 17, with the serious possibility that they could “become refugees in their city because some people did not do their job properly,” Savvidis added.

Depa MP Alekos Tryfonidis called on the state and KOA as well as all parties involved to find a medium for the immediate use of the stadium. He recommended that until solutions are found, the stadium should be given for training and matches under the supervision of the KOA.

At the moment, the restrictions on fan numbers at Tsirio Stadium means Apollon’s 6,000 season ticket holders plus the 4,500 of AEL and many more for Aris cannot be used by fans to watch matches.

 

 

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