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Cypriot champion AC Omonia resolves dispute after being kicked out of stadium

Cypriot football club AC Omonia has agreed to pay a debt of €300,000 (£257,000/$356,000) to the owners of its GSP Stadium home ground, seemingly bringing an end to a dispute that had led to the club being kicked out of the venue.

Omonia, which is based in Nicosia, won the top-tier Cypriot Championship last season and is due to enter the UEFA Champions League in the second qualifying round stage later this month.

The club had been ordered to pay €300,000 to the Pancyprian Gymnastic Association (GSP) as part of its lease agreement to play at the stadium. Doros Ioannides, chairman of the board at the GSP, told sports portal Protathlima.com last week that the club had not paid any money since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dispute had led to Omonia chairman Stavros Papavastravou accusing the GSP of acting “like the mafia” over the payment. It came after the GSP had ordered other local stadium authorities to prevent Omonia from using their facilities.

The GSP Stadium, which also serves as the home of APOEL Nicosia and Olympiakos Nicosia, is the only UEFA-certified venue in Cyprus, which would have presented a problem for Omonia ahead of the Champions League match this month.

Protathlima.com has now reported that Omonia has said it will pay the €300,000 sum, although the GSP has agreed to some modifications to the two parties’ arrangement. The report said the agreement will be formalised later today (Monday).

GSP Stadium has a capacity of around 23,000 and also hosts matches played by the Cypriot national team.

Image: George Groutas/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size