APOEL Nicosia

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"APOEL" redirects here. For the football team, see APOEL FC.
APOEL Nicosia
APOEL (Sports) Club Logo.png
APOEL Sports Club emblem
Full name Athletikos Podosferikos Omilos Ellinon Lefkosias
Nickname Τhrylos (The Legend)
Founded 8 November 1926; 88 years ago (1926-11-08)
Colours           Yellow, Blue
Chairman Marios Charalambous
Website Club home page
Active departments of APOEL
Football pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Football Basketball Volleyball
Futsal pictogram.svg Table tennis pictogram.svg Cycling (road) pictogram.svg
Futsal Table tennis Cycling
Bowling pictogram.svg Archery pictogram.svg Swimming pictogram.svg
Bowling Archery Swimming
Water polo pictogram.svg Athletics pictogram.svg 600px Blu Bianco e Giallo (Diagonale).png
Water polo Runners Team The Club

APOEL (Greek: ΑΠΟΕΛ; short for Αθλητικός Ποδοσφαιρικός Όμιλος Ελλήνων Λευκωσίας, Athletikos Podosferikos Omilos Ellinon Lefkosias, "Athletic Football Club of Greeks of Nicosia") is a major multi-sport club based in Nicosia, Cyprus.

APOEL, which was founded in 1926, is the most popular sports club in Cyprus[1][2] and one of the most successful, achieving to win many titles in several sports.

The club is parent to a number of different competitive departments including football, basketball, volleyball, futsal, table tennis, bowling, cycling, archery, swimming and water polo.


The early years[edit]

The club was formed as POEL (Greek: ΠΟΕΛ; Ποδοσφαιρικός Όμιλος Ελλήνων Λευκωσίας, Podosferikos Omilos Ellinon Lefkosias, Football Club of Greeks of Nicosia) on 8 November 1926. The club's formation came about when a group of forty people, with a common vision, met and set the foundations for creating a football club that would represent the Greek residents of the capital and express their deep desire for Cyprus' incorporation (enosis) into Greece. The meeting took place at a traditional confectionery, owned by Charalambos Hadjioannou, downtown in Ledra Street and the first president of the club was Giorgos Poulias.[3] The first clubhouse was the "Athenians Club" (Λέσχη Αθηναίων) at the end of Ledra Street.[3]

After a journey to the football club in Alexandria, Egypt in 1927 the General Assembly of 1928 decided the players showed that they were not just good footballers but also excellent track and field athletes. Hence it was decided to create a track and field team in addition to the football team. The name APOEL was adopted to reflect this, with the 'A' standing for 'Athletic'. Soon after more sports departments were established, including volleyball, table tennis, rugby football, boxing, cycling, field hockey and basketball (a few years later). Also the club issued a sports newspaper, the "Athlitiki Echo", the first Cypriot sport newspaper.

The foundation of CFA and the club's first ever official title[edit]

Cyprus did not have any country-wide league until 1932. Football clubs of the time played friendly matches only. In 1932, Pezoporikos Larnaca organised an unofficial league, the first island-wide league, and it was won by APOEL after defeating AEL Limassol in the final by 4–0. In 1934, there was a disagreement between Trast AC and Anorthosis Famagusta on the organisation of the fourth unofficial league. APOEL and AEL Limassol organised a meeting for the foundation of a country-wide governing body and an official country-wide league. The meeting took place in APOEL's clubhouse on 23 September and the establishment of the Cyprus Football Association was agreed. Two years later the APOEL football team celebrated its first championship title of the official Cyprus football league.[3]

The 1948 conflicts[edit]

Politics, however, would soon spark conflict within the team. On 23 May 1948 the board of the club send a telegram to the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics (Greek: Σ.Ε.Γ.Α.Σ.), with the opportunity of the annual Panhellenic Track and Field Competition, which included wishes that "the rebellion" is finished. Several leftist club members perceived the telegram as a political comment on the Greek Civil War and they distanced themselves from the club.[4] A few days later, on 4 June 1948, they founded Omonia, which until today is the arch rival of APOEL and there has been a traditional animosity between the fans of the two teams.[4]

1955–59 period[edit]

More conflicts led to further struggles for APOEL. Athletes belonging to the club frequently participated in national clashes. During the 1955–59 national uprising against the British, many of APOEL's athletes and members of the club were active members of EOKA (the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters), the most outstanding example being the club's track and field athlete Michalakis Karaolis who was hanged by the British colonial authorities. During this period the football team had their closest brush with relegation as most football players were actively taking part in the national struggle.

The formation of APOEL FC Company[edit]

On 1996 the APOEL Football Ltd. was formed.[5] This had a significant effect on the club because it separated the activities of the football team from those of the sports club. The formation of the company was necessitated by the financial difficulties the team faced at the time. The company began its operations with a capital of CY £600,000.

Colours and badge[edit]

The club's colours and badge displayed by APOEL fans a Champions League match against Chelsea.

APOEL's colours are blue and yellow. Blue symbolizes Greece and yellow symbolizes Byzantium.[6][7] The logo is a blue and yellow shield with the name of the club written diagonally in blue.

The football club badge has a small difference on it. The bage has remained the same since the establishment of the club, but after the football team of APOEL won their 20th championship (2008–09 season), two stars were added above the football club's logo to symbolize the 20 championship titles (one star for every ten championships won).


APOEL fans celebrating after eliminating Wisła Kraków and reached the Champions League group stage.

APOEL is the most popular team in Cyprus.[1][2] APOEL fans are right-wing in their majority but there are no strong ties between the organised fans and any political party.[6] That wasn't always the case but during the past years they have actively avoided association with any political party.[6]

The main supporter group is PAN.SY.FI (Greek: ΠΑΝ.ΣΥ.ΦΙ). PAN.SY.FI was founded in 1979[8] and has branches in all major cities in Cyprus and also in other countries. The PAN.SY.FI (and most ultras) wear orange jackets (or T-shirts). The first game they sported the orange jackets was during the first round game of the 1992–93 championship against AEL Limassol in Makario Stadium.[8] APOEL have reserved the shirt number 79 in honour of PAN.SY.FI. (APOEL Ultras), to denote the year the group was founded, 1979.


APOEL football club's home ground since 23 October 1999, is the 22,859 seater GSP Stadium. It is the largest stadium in Cyprus and they share it with local rivals Omonia and Olympiakos Nicosia.[9] Before moving to GSP Stadium, APOEL used as home grounds the Makario Stadium (from 1978 until 1999) and the old GSP Stadium (prior to 1978).

The club's basketball, volleyball and futsal teams host their matches in the 2,100 seater Lefkotheo Indoor Arena which was built in 1980.[10] For many years the basketball team used as home venue the 6,000 capacity Eleftheria Indoor Hall.

1926 - APOEL's official magazine[edit]

Main article: 1926 (magazine)

1926 is the official magazine of the multi-sports club APOEL.[11] A Cyprus monthly sports magazine published in Nicosia, it was founded in 2013 with its first edition appearing on 7 March 2013. The magazine is named after the founding year of the club and covers all of APOEL's teams (football, basketball, futsal, volleyball, water polo), as well as individual sports (archery, bowling, cycling, running, swimming, table tennis), with feature stories, interviews, retro, and presentations. The main focus is on football, since that sport is the most popular in Cyprus.

Presidential history[edit]

APOEL has had numerous presidents over the course of their history. Since the establishment of APOEL Football Ltd., the presidents of the board of directors of the company (chairmen) have assumed all presidential duties for the football club. Here are complete lists of both:[12]

APOEL Football[edit]

Main article: APOEL FC

APOEL Footbal Club is a professional football club based in Nicosia, Cyprus. They are one of the founding members of the Cyprus Football Association.[3] APOEL are the most successful football team in Cyprus with an overall tally of 23 championships, 20 cups and 13 super cups.[13] APOEL's greatest moment in the European competitions occurred in the season 2011–12, when the club participated in the group stages of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League (along with F.C. Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit St. Petersburg) and achieved qualification for the quarter-finals of the competition by topping the group and eliminating Olympique Lyonnais in the last 16, becoming the only Cypriot club to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. APOEL's European competitions highlights include also appearances in the group stages of the 2009–10 and 2014–15 UEFA Champions League and the group stages of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. APOEL is the only Cypriot club who have reached the group stages of both major UEFA competitions (UEFA Champions League & UEFA Europa League). APOEL FC is also an ordinary member of the European Club Association, an organization that replaced the previous G-14 which consists of major football clubs in Europe.


Winners (23) (record): 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1938–39, 1939–40, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1951–52, 1964–65, 1972–73, 1979–80, 1985–86, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1995–96, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2013–14
Winners (20) (record): 1936–37, 1940–41, 1946–47, 1950–51, 1962–63, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1983–84, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2013–14
Winners (13): 1963, 1984, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013

APOEL Basketball[edit]

Main article: APOEL B.C.

APOEL Basketball Club is a professional basketball team based in the city of Nicosia, Cyprus. APOEL's basketball team was formed in 1947[14] and is one of the most successful basketball clubs in Cyprus by winning 11 Championships, 11 Cups and 11 Super Cups.

The team's first ever basketball title was the Cypriot Super Cup that won in 1972. At the end of the same season (1972–73), APOEL won their second title, the Cypriot Cup. The team achieved to win their first ever Championship title three years later, in season 1975–76. The 90's decade was the most successful for APOEL. The team won 4 Championships, 5 Cups and 4 Super Cups during that period, including one double on the 1995–96 season.

After winning the double in 2001–02 season, APOEL managed to win again the Championship in 2008–09 season, after 6 years without winning any title. The next season (2009–10), the team won their second consecutive Championship title and reached the quarterfinals of EuroChallenge, marking their most successful season in European competitions. After four years without winning any title, APOEL managed to win again the Championship in 2013–14 season, which was their 11th league title in their history.


Winners (11): 1975–76, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2001–02, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2013–14
Winners (11) (record): 1972–73, 1978–79, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 2001–02, 2002–03
  • Cypriot Super Cup
Winners (11) (record): 1972, 1976, 1986, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2014

APOEL Women's basketball team[edit]

APOEL also maintains a women's team which is competing in the Women's Cypriot First Division. In their most successful seasons, APOEL Women's team reached the Championship finals twice (2003–04 & 2004–05) and qualified two times for the semi-finals of the Cup (2004–05 & 2006–07).

APOEL Volleyball[edit]

Main article: APOEL V.C.

APOEL Volleyball Club is a professional volleyball team based in the city of Nicosia, Cyprus. APOEL's volleyball team was formed in 1928[15] and won 7 championships (1 held by the Hellenic Volleyball Federation and 6 by the Cyprus Volleyball Federation) and 5 Cups. The 1980s was the most successful decade for the team, winning 6 Championships and 5 Cups between 1979 and 1985. Also, the decade of the 1990s was amazing for the youth teams of APOEL (U15, U17, U21) by winning 16 trophies in just 7 years.

Since then, the team had some good seasons with participations in 2003–04 CEV Top Teams Cup and 2004–05 CEV Cup, but without any title outcome. In the 2008–09 season APOEL relegated to the Second Division and suspended its activities due to financial difficulties. That was the first and only time which a team from APOEL multisport club was relegated.

In season 2012–13, the volleyball club of APOEL was reactivated and participated in the Cypriot Second Division. They became champions by winning all their league matches (15 wins out of 15 matches) and promoted to the Cypriot First Division for the 2013–14 season.


Winners (7): 1972, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985
  • Cypriot Cup
Winners (5): 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985
  • Cypriot Second Division
Winners (1): 2013

APOEL Women's volleyball team[edit]

APOEL women's volleyball team was formed in 1974. The women's team won their only title in 1978, when they managed to win AEL Limassol 3–2 in the season's Cup final. The team suspended its operation in 1990, due to financial problems.


  • Women's Cup
Winners (1): 1977–78

APOEL Futsal[edit]

Main article: APOEL Futsal

APOEL Futsal is a professional futsal team based in the city of Nicosia, Cyprus. APOEL's futsal team was formed in 2012[16] as APOEL City Futsal F.S.C., after APOEL board came to an agreement with City Futsal F.S.C. to take their place in the Cypriot First Division for the 2012–13 season.[17] The team had a successful first season, finishing fourth in the league and reaching the semi-finals of the cup.

The next season (2013–14), the first after the departure of City Futsal FSC and the club's rename to APOEL,[18] the team achieved their first domestic double, winning both the season's Cypriot First Division[19] and the Cypriot Cup,[20] their first two major trophies after only two years of existence as a futsal club.

After winning the double in the 2013–14 season, APOEL qualified for the first time for the European competitions, participating in the 2014–15 UEFA Futsal Cup. They entered the preliminary round of the competition and they hosted all the Group D matches in Nicosia's Tasos Papadopoulos - Eleftheria Indoor Hall. APOEL managed to qualify for the main round[21] by winning all their matches, beating FC Anzhi Tallin 5–3, KF Flamurtari Vlorë 9–1 and NAFI Stuttgart 10–1. APOEL were eventually eliminated at the main round of the UEFA Futsal Cup, finishing in the third place of Group 6 with 4 points, after losing 1–5 against Slov-Matic Bratislava, beating MVFC Berettjóújfalu 3–2 and drawing 3–3 with Vegakameratene.[22]


Winners (1): 2013–14
Winners (1): 2013–14

APOEL Table tennis[edit]

APOEL's table tennis team was formed in 1928 and in 1936 they organized tournaments with the participation of athletes from other clubs. Since 1950, they organized Open Championships since no formal federation existed. On 1 July 1963, at the initiative of APOEL and the founding members of the Pancyprian Gymnasium, the English School of Nicosia and the club officials of Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, they founded the Cypriot Federation (POEPA), which organized the first tournaments in which APOEL dominated. In 1970, APOEL's women's department was founded, which was the first women's table tennis team in Cyprus. Great APOEL's table tennis athletes were Michalakis Zambas who won 6 consecutive titles and Stavros Louras.


  • Cypriot Championship
Winners (10): 1974, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990
  • Cypriot Cup
Winners (8): 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988

APOEL Racing (Cycling)[edit]

The cycling department was founded in 1970. The early years, the club's athletes participated in domestic games, as Cypriot federation was established much later in 1978. APOEL's athletes participated for the first time in an international match in 1979, taking part in the international round of Israel. The next year, they participated in the ascent of Parnitha, where Spyros Agrotis finished first in adolescents and 4th in the overall score, achieving the first international victory for APOEL. The same athlete won the silver medal at the Games of the Small States of Europe in 1985.

APOEL had great athletes in cycling, but the greatest was Spyros Agrotis who won the Cypriot championship six times (1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1987, 1990) and also won one bronze (in 1985) and two silver medals (in 1989) in the Games of the Small States of Europe.[23] Other great APOEL's cycling athletes were Andreas Agrotis (champion in 1985, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997), Giorgos Chatzimarkou (champion in 1986). Also Pancyprian titles have been won by Nicos Demetriou, Michalis Chadjioannou, Alexis Charalambous, Sotiris Stavrou, Giorgos Kallidis and Eftychios Kasapis.


  • Cypriot Men's Championship
Winners (19): 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001
  • Cypriot Cup
Winners (4): 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
  • Cypriot Junior's Championship
Winners (2): 1997, 1998
  • Cypriot Boy's Championship
Winners (6): 1981, 1983, 1984, 1992, 1997, 1998

APOEL Water polo[edit]

APOEL Water polo team was founed in 2014. The team competes in the Cypriot Water polo Championship and in the Cypriot Cup.

APOEL Archery[edit]

APOEL archery team was founed in 2013[24] and maintains mens, womens and youth academies archery departments.

Track and field department[edit]

APOEL cultivated athletics since 1926, immediately after the founding of the club. The first track and field athletes were the footballers of the club, as four players of APOEL had taken part at the Panhellenic games in Limassol. The Cyprus Open Championships where established in 1945 and until 1968, APOEL won all the competitions except one. The Open Championships were abolished in 1968 and they were replaced by Diagoreia, in the memory of the old agent and founding member of APOEL Diagoras Nicolaides. In 1976, all Cypriot clubs suspended the operations of their athletics sections since all athletes joined the provincial associations.

Boxing department[edit]

One of APOEL's first departments was boxing. Great athletes of APOEL's boxing were Kovis Ioannides and Petrakis Loizides.

Rugby team[edit]

APOEL's rugby team was in the first departments of the club in 1926. The team's operation lasted a few weeks because the current years the dry pitches did not favor the development of sport in Cyprus.

Field hockey team[edit]

APOEL's field hockey team was founded before the Second World War and participated in all three Cypriot leagues, which were organized with their greatest rival AYMA. The team was dissolved in 1949. Players of APOEL's field hockey team in 1930 were P. Savvides, N. Kyriakidis, Chr. Savvides, Chr. Symeonidis, N. Petrides, G. Xenophontos, P. Michaelides, I. Ioannides, K. Tsimmilis, E. Yannakakis and M. Constantinides.


  1. ^ a b Πρώτος σε φιλάθλους ο ΑΠΟΕΛ (in Greek). balla.com.cy. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Είμαστε οι περισσότεροι! (in Greek). apoel.net. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Ιστορική Αναδρομή (in Greek). APOEL FC. Retrieved 30 May 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Τα γεγονότα του 1948 (in Greek). apoel.net. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "APOEL FC LTD – HISTORY". APOEL FC. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c ΑΠΟΕΛ: Η κυπριακή Δεξιά, Οι "αποτυχημένοι" με αίμα στα πορτοκαλί μπουφάν (in Greek). epikaira.gr. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Πανίκος Χατζηλιασής : "Τους διαψεύσαμε όλους..." (in Greek). libero.fm. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b ΠΑΝ.ΣΥ.ΦΙ (in Greek). APOEL FC. Retrieved 23 May 2008. 
  9. ^ "GSP stadium". APOEL FC. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Από εδώ και πέρα στο Λευκόθεο όλες οι ομάδες (in Greek). kathimerini.com.cy. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Μπιτόν, Μπέκμαν, Λέιλα Πίντο και Χρύσης Μιχαήλ στο νέο περιοδικό του ΑΠΟΕΛ
  12. ^ "Presidents" (in Greek). APOEL FC. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Championships". APOEL FC. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  14. ^ ΤΑΥΤΟΤΗΤΑ (in Greek). apoel.com.cy. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  15. ^ ΤΑΥΤΟΤΗΤΑ (in Greek). apoel.com.cy. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  16. ^ ΤΑΥΤΟΤΗΤΑ (in Greek). apoel.com.cy. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "To ΑΠΟΕΛ και στο futsal..." (in Greek). APOEL. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  18. ^ Συγχώνευση Σωματείων (in Greek). CFA. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  19. ^ Το ΑΠΟΕΛ κατέκτησε τον τίτλο (in Greek). CFA. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Μετά το Πρωτάθλημα, πήρε και το Κύπελλο Futsal το ΑΠΟΕΛ" (in Greek). CFA. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "APOEL and Stalitsa first through". UEFA. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  22. ^ "Elite round contenders book their place". UEFA. 5 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  23. ^ Σπύρος Αγρότης - Ο κορυφαίος ποδηλάτης του ΑΠΟΕΛ (1976-1991) (in Greek). apoel.com.cy. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  24. ^ Πρεμιέρα για τον θρύλο με μεγάλες επιτυχίες (Τμήμα τοξοβολίας) (in Greek). apoel.com.cy. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 

External links[edit]