|Full name||Athletic Club Omonia Nicosia
Αθλητικός Σύλλογος Ομόνοια Λευκωσίας
|Founded||4 June 1948
(entered First Division in 1953)
|Ground||GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus|
|League||Cypriot First Division|
|Website||Club home page|
The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953. Omonia, which means 'Concord' in Greek, has won 20 League Championships, 14 Cypriot Cups and 16 Super Cups and 5 domestic doubles – in 1972, 1974, 1981, 1982 and 1983 all since 1948. The Cyprus Football Association declared them as the Team of the 20th Century. Omonia remains the only team to have won the Cypriot Cup 4 times in a row, between the years 1980 and 1983. However, it is the only one of the big four clubs in Cyprus yet to qualify for European Group stage (Champions League or Europa League).
As an athletic club, Omonia also operates basketball, volleyball, cycling and futsal sections. The latter one is being particularly successful, having won the league and cup in three consecutive years since 2011.
- 1 History
- 2 Colours and badge
- 3 Stadium
- 4 Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
- 5 Supporters
- 6 2013 financial crisis and pan-Cypriot fundraiser
- 7 Honours
- 8 European record
- 9 Players
- 10 Club officials
- 11 References
- 12 External links
AC Omonia was founded in 1948 in the backdrop of the Greek Civil War. The political turbulence from that conflict spilled over into Cyprus. The APOEL board officials sent a telegram to the Hellenic Amateur Athletic Association (SEGAS) stating its intention to have its players sign allegiance to Greece’s fascist dictatorship, violating the statute prohibiting clubs from being associated with any political groups.
After numerous players criticized the decision made by the APOEL board, and ultimately refused to sign any documents professing any political party or philosophy, those players were expelled from the club. Determined to carry on, those players and other club members left the team and established their own, separate clubs in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia. On 4 June 1948, AC Omonia was created. In 1953 it was admitted into the Cypriot First Division. Nea Salamis Famagusta FC, Alki Larnaca, and Orfeas Nicosia were also founded in the same year.
After entering the 1953–54 in 1953, Omonia only managed to place 7th out of 9 teams in the 1953–54 season, barely avoiding relegation. During that decade, the club’s best placing came during the 1956–57 season when the club finished 3rd.
After a mediocre decade in the in 1953, AC Omonia would make its closest push for the title during the 1959–60 season after finishing 2nd only 1 point behind Anorthosis Famagusta. More motivated than ever, the following year, after just 7 seasons in the First Division, AC Omonia would go on and win its first title in 1960–61 season, sending shockwaves across Cyprus. Omonia, in that season would score an unheard of 91 goals in 24 matches on their way to their first ever Cyprus First Division title. Omonia would go on to win their second title during the 1965–66 season.
Golden Era (1970s-1980s)
During the 1970s, AC Omonia had established itself as a force to be reckoned with. During the decade, led by a young, Sotiris Kaiafas, Omonia would accomplish what no team in Cyprus would ever accomplish by winning 7 Cypriot League Championships beginning in 1972, including six consecutive titles in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979. By the time the decade would come to an end, Omonia had already surpassed the number of titles of Anorthosis Famagusta which was established in 1911 (nearly 40 years prior to the establishment of Omonia). Omonia was also well under way to catching its rival, APOEL, who also had a 13 year head-start on Omonia. At the end of the 1979 season, Omonia only trailed APOEL by two championships. Sotiris Kaiafas would become top scorer in Cyprus during the 1971–72, 1973–74, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1982–83, and 1983–84 seasons. In 1976, Sotiris Kaiafas would go on and win the European Golden Boot Award for his single-season 36-goal performance. In 2003, he was awarded the UEFA Jubilee Awards for The Best Cypriot Footballer of the 20th Century.
AC Omonia won an additional seven Cypriot League Championship titles including another 5 consecutive in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, and again in 1987 and in 1989. As the 1980s came to an end, Omonia had surpassed Anorthosis and APOEL for the most titles in Cypriot history. In the 20 year span between 1970 and 1990, Omonia had won 14 Cypriot Championship Titles.
General Downfall (1990s-2000s)
The 1990s would prove to be less fruitful than the previous two decades. During this time, AC Omonia only mustered one Cypriot League title during the 1992–93 season. It would be eight long years before Omonia would see its next title. The only ray of hope came in 1997 after the signing a German named Rainer Rauffmann. Rainer Rauffmann would leave his mark in the long line of Omonia greats. With the help of other Omonia great and then captain, Costas Malekkos, and a young Costas Kaiafas (son of Sotiris Kaiafas), Rainer Rauffmann would become top scorer of the Cypriot First Division in the 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00 and 2000–01 seasons and leading Omonoia to two titles.
After a disappointing eight seasons, the 2000s decade began on the right foot. AC Omonia would celebrate its 18th Cypriot League Championship title in 2001. Now captained by Costas Kaiafas, Omonia would win its 19th Cypriot League Championship again in 2003. However, since 2003, the team would stumble and be without a title for the next several years. After numerous seasons of poor signings and underachieving, Omonia’s reigns would be taken over by new chairman and team president, Miltiadis Neophytou in 2008.
Return to Trophy Streak (2010-present)
The team would soon be put back on track starting in 2006, beginning with the signing of Cyprus national football team goalie, Antonis Georgallides. Omonia would continue its star-studded signings by acquiring Cypriot stars that had been playing abroad such as, Elias Charalambous and Stathis Aloneftis. Omonia would then make headlines with the shocking signing of all-time leading scorer of the Cyprus national football team, Michalis Konstantinou. In 2009, Omonia would also sign another Cypriot star, Konstantinos Makrides. Along the way, Omonia would also acquire young Cypriot hopefuls, 21 year-old Dimitris Christofi, and 20 year-old Georgios Efrem. Efrem, who had been playing on the youth team of Arsenal FC and later Scottish side, Rangers, would be the final piece to the puzzle needed to win its 20th Cypriot League Championship. After putting the proper pieces in place, AC Omonia did just that. During the 2009–10 season, led by new captain, Elias Charalambous, AC Omonia would not lose a single derby, including play-offs matches against either, APOEL, Anorthosis Famagusta, nor Apollon. After defeating its rival APOEL three consecutive times, Omonia became the 2009–10 Cypriot League Champions for the 20th time.
Omonia would not be able to repeat as Champion during the 2010–11 regular season, and instead had to settle with finishing 2nd, despite the addition of yet another young Cypriot rising star, Andreas Avraam. However the team was to end on a positive note. Under interim coach Neophytos Larkou, Omonia defeated Apollon Limasol in the Cyprus Cup Final and won their 13th Coca-Cola Cup.
Under the guidance of newly appointed Director of Football Nickolas Danskalou AC Omonoia managed to finish 2nd in the Championship and 3rd after the playoff rounds all but assuring they would qualify for the Second round of the 2012–13 UEFA Cup Competition.
Omonoia started the season with a 5−0 win but found their second win after several games. Although the first round was disappointing the team made a great effort in the second round and climbed from 6th to 3rd place. Thousands of fans answered the president's call to donate as much as they could and the financial issues of the club improved. Omonoia's final match ended in a 3−1 victory over AEK Larnaca. Omonoia was knocked out in the semifinals of the cup by AEL Limassol. The team will be playing in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.
Colours and badge
AC Omonia's colours are green and white. Their current alternate kit is black and red. AC Omonia's badge has a green shamrock in a white circle. On 10 June 2013 the team updated its symbol by adding golden branches around the shamrock and writing with gold letters "65 years", celebrating 65 years since the club's first meeting in 1948.
Since 23 October 1999, Omonia has been using the 22,859-seat GSP Stadium, the largest stadium in Cyprus. They share the stadium with local rivals APOEL and Olympiakos. Omonia played in the Makario Stadium from 1978 until 1999 and in old GSP Stadium prior to 1978. When the club was first created, it used the Goal Stadium.
Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt partner|
Omonoia is and always has been the most popular team in Cyprus. Regarded as the 'people's team', Omonia is known for the left-leaning, socialist character of its supporters. Omonia is also traditionally regarded as the club of Cyprus's working-class. Most of Omonia's supporters have adopted an outspoken stance against both racism and fascism alike. Many of Omonia's supporters can be seen waving banners bearing Che Guevara's image and unlike many of Cyprus's right-wing teams, proudly wave the flag of Cyprus during matches. The club has relationships with FC St. Pauli, Celtic F.C., Hapoel Tel Aviv and Standard Liège. The first organised supporters group for the team was PAN.SY.FI. Omonia Nicosia (Greek: ΠΑΝ.ΣΥ.ΦΙ. Ομόνοια Λευκωσίας), established in the early 1960s. The extreme, more hardcore fans can be seen in Gate 9 and are commonly referred to as "Kifines" (or male bees).Gate 9 was established in 1992 and is one of the most popular fan organisations in Cyprus having members and divisions across the whole of the island. Thousands of them occupy the North stand at the GSP stadium during home games. Gate 9 members are always seated at the North stand because when the organization was founded the members were seated at the most northern part of the club's previous stadium, the Makario Stadium. Omonia's fans are well known for their passion. Their presence is seen on the fields in Cyprus during Cypriot League matches and throughout Europe. In 2003, Omonia's fans broke their previous record for attendance in home matches with the improved figure of 140,740. The record was broken again the following year with 143,033 tickets sold in 13 home matches. The record now stands at 162,061 tickets sold during the 2009–2010 season.
2013 financial crisis and pan-Cypriot fundraiser
By the end of February Omonoia was struggling to meet UEFA criteria for March and June. When it became obvious that resources were limited and money was quickly running out the president of the club turned to the only source that had remained loyal to the club since its creation, its supporters. The president called for all the supporters to donate as much as they could and a huge fundraiser island wide was on its way with the motto; "Η ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ ΕΙΝΑΙ Ο ΛΑΟΣ ΤΗΣ" meaning "OMONOIA IS ITS PEOPLE".Hundreds of events were organized all over the island with current and former players contributing by signing autographs and selling club merchandise. Although the media constantly described the situation as grim and hopeless, money continued to pour in from all over the island and even supporters from abroad including England and the United States. In about a month and a half €3.5 million was collected from the club's supporters.
- Cypriot Championship: 20
- Cypriot Cup: 14
- Cyprus FA Shield: 16 (record)
- 1966, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2012
European Cup/UEFA Champions League
|European Cup/UEFA Champions League|
|1966-67||First Round||1860 Munich||1–2||8–0||1–10|
|1972–73||First Round||Waterford United||2–0||2–1||3–2|
|Second Round||Bayern Munich||0–4||9–0||0–13|
|1974–75||First Round||Cork Celtic||–||–||(w/o)|
|1978–79||First Round||Bohemians||2–1||1–0||2–2 (a)|
|1979–80||First Round||Red Boys Differdange||6–1||2–1||7–3|
|1982–83||First Round||HJK Helsinki||4–0||3–0||2–3|
|1983–84||First Round||CSKA Sofia||4–1||3–0||4–4 (a)|
|1984–85||First Round||Dinamo Bucharest||2–1||4–1||3–5|
|1985–86||First Round||Rabat Ajax||5–0||0–5||10–0|
|1987–88||First Round||Shamrock Rovers||0–0||0–1||1–0|
|Second Round||Steaua Bucureşti||0–2||1–3||1–5|
|1989–90||First Round||Swarovski Tirol||2–3||6–0||2–9|
|1993–94||Preliminary Round||FC Aarau||2–1||2–0||2–3|
|2001–02||Second Qualifying Round||Red Star Belgrade||1–1||2–1||2–3|
|2003–04||First Qualifying Round||Irtysh||0–0||1–2||2–1|
|Second Qualifying Round||Wisła Kraków||2–2||5–2||4–7|
|2010–11||Second Qualifying Round||Renova||3–0||0–2||5–0|
|Third Qualifying Round||Red Bull Salzburg||1–1||4–1||2–5|
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League
|UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League|
|1986–87||First Round||Sportul Studenţesc||1–1||1–0||1–2|
|1990–91||First Round||PFC Slavia Sofia||4–2||2–1||5–4|
|1995–96||Preliminary Round||Sliema Wanderers||3–0||1–2||5–1|
|1998–99||First Qualifying Round||Linfield||5–1||5–3||8–6|
|Second Qualifying Round||Rapid Wien||3–1||2–0||3–3 (a)|
|1999–00||Qualifying Round||FC Belshyna Babruisk||3–0||1–5||8–1|
|2000–01||Qualifying Round||Naftex Burgas||0–0||2–1||1–2|
|2004–05||First Qualifying Round||Sloga Jugomagnat||4–0||1–4||8–1|
|Second Qualifying Round||CSKA Sofia||1–1||3–1||2–4|
|2005–06||First Qualifying Round||Hibernians||3–0||0–3||6–0|
|Second Qualifying Round||Dinamo Bucureşti||2–1||3–1||3–4|
|2006–07||First Qualifying Round||Rijeka||2–1||2–2||4–3|
|Second Qualifying Round||Litex Lovech||0–0||2–1||1–2|
|2007–08||First Qualifying Round||Rudar Pljevlja||2–0||0–2||4–0|
|Second Qualifying Round||CSKA Sofia||1–1||2–1||2–3|
|2008–09||First Qualifying Round||Milano||2–0||1–2||4–1|
|Second Qualifying Round||AEK Athens||2–2||0–1||3–2|
|First Round||Manchester City||1–2||2–1||2–4|
|2009–10||Second Qualifying Round||HB||4–0||1–4||8–1|
|Third Qualifying Round||Vaslui||1–1||2–0||1–3|
|2010–11||Play-off Round||Metalist Kharkiv||0–1||2–2||2–3|
|2011–12||Third Qualifying Round||ADO Den Haag||3–0||1–0||3–1|
|Play-off Round||Red Bull Salzburg||2–1||1–0||2–2 (a)|
|2012–13||Third Qualifying Round||Red Star Belgrade||0–0||0–0||0–0 (5–6 p)|
|2013–14||Second Qualifying Round||Astra Giurgiu||1–2||1–1||2–3|
First team squad
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For details of former players, see Category:AC Omonia players
Board of Directors
|Head coach||Kostas Kaiafas|
|Assistant coach||Ioakim Ioakim|
|Physical fitness coach||Alejandro Caceres|
|Fitness trainer||Onisiforos Onisiforou|
|Goalkeeping coach||Christoforos Loizou|
- Official website
- Omonoia news website
- Gate9 official website
- Kifines fan page
- Players of A. C. Omonia Nicosia on Wikimedia Commons
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to AC Omonia.|