The need for a new sports stadium in Limassol was highlighted once again today after the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) hit the town’s top clubs with the news that the Tsireio Stadium complex has been deemed unsuitable safety standards for fans and the terraces must be closed.
The news – which effectively means the clubs can use the stadium but that games have to be played behind closed doors - has come as a crushing blow for league leaders AEL and fellow title challengers Apollon Limasol while the town’s other club, Aris Limassol, are currently locked in a three-way relegation battle.
The fact that fans will be missing will also hit the clubs hard in the pockets as they will miss out on thousands of Euros in revenue although they can salvage some funds by relocating to another ground.
“In response to a series of media reports with regards to the Tsireio Stadium and the dangerous problems with the terraces, a safety standards report by stadium engineer Mr. Themis Demetriou was undertaken. The CFA has decided that as of today [Tuesday], the Tsireio Stadium can be used for the needs of the clubs but that games have to be played behind closed doors (in accordance with CFA regulations).”
The letter goes on to say that the decision of the CFA may only be reversed if Demetriou gives them written assurances that amendments have been made to meet the necessary security and safety criteria for the fans present at the games.
“In light of the recent developments, the CFA offers the clubs the choice of either playing their games at the ground without supporters or to relocate their home matches to another first division stadium meeting the necessary criteria.”
The clubs have been given until Thursday lunchtime to give their response.
The CFA added, “We are sorry for resorting to such measures but as the governing body we must uphold the safety of the public and the fans that are present at football matches.”
Last year, the chairmen of AEL, Apollon and Aris entered into discussions with private investors and the state in order to get funding to build a new stadium in the Kolossi area of Limassol. But their efforts are proving difficult under the economic strain that Cyprus is currently enduring.