Paphos football stadium set for revamp

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Paphos will soon have its own state-or-the-art football ground, as the football club’s Russian investors are set to take over the town’s Stelios Kyriakides stadium.

Media reports on Thursday said authorities approved Paphos FC owners’ request to run the stadium for 90 years, turning it, as they proclaim, into the island’s most modern sports centre.

Reportedly the Ministry of Education, and the Cyprus Sport Organisation (KOA), have green-lighted the deal, which would long-lease the Stelios Kyriakides stadium to the Russian investors of Pafos FC.

The deal will see Pafos FC’s investors upgrading the stadium at their own expense in return for managing it over the next 90 years.

Phileleftheros daily said authorities had requested the opinion of Attorney General George Savvides on whether this type of state-owned property could be leased out to private investors.

Phileleftheros quoted Paphos MP and vice-chairman of the House’s Education Committee confirming the developments, while it revealed that KOA’s chairman Andreas Michaelides has also committed to coming back to the Russian investors within t10 days with an answer.

Pafos FC was formed in 2014 after merging the biggest teams in the Paphos district, AEP Paphos and AEK Kouklia.

The team calls the Stelios Kyriakides Stadium home and is currently competing in the Cypriot First Division.

Last season Pafos FC finished in sixth place.

Paphos FC was taken over in 2020 by Russian Investors, headed by Russian-Hungarian Businessman Roman Dubov. They have been striving to establish the team as one of the island’s strongest clubs.

The Stelios Kyriakides Stadium, formerly known as the Paphiako Sports Centre, is a multi-purpose stadium that holds 9,394.

It has a full-size running track around the outside of its football and rugby playing field and is used for athletics events throughout the year.

It is also home to Akritas Chlorakas and hosts Cyprus National Rugby Team games.

In May 2017, KOA changed the stadium’s name in honour of Stelios Kyriakides, the first Greek Cypriot marathon runner to compete in the Boston Marathon in 1946.