AC Omonia

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AC Omonia Nicosia
AC Omonia.png
Full name Athletic Club Omonia Nicosia
Αθλητικός Σύλλογος Ομόνοια Λευκωσίας
Founded 4 June 1948; 66 years ago (1948-06-04)
(entered First Division in 1953)
Ground GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus
Ground Capacity 22,859
Chairman Cyprus Doros Serafim
Manager Cyprus Kostas Kaiafas
League Cypriot First Division
2013–14 5th
Website Club home page
Current season

Athletic Club Omonia Nicosia (Greek: Αθλητικός Σύλλογος Ομόνοια Λευκωσίας), commonly referred to as Omonia, is a Cypriot professional football club based in the capital city, Nicosia.[1]

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,[2] 14 Cypriot Cups[3] and 16 Super Cups.[4] Omonia remains the only team to have won the Cypriot Cup 4 times in a row, between the years 1980 and 1983.[5] 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,[6]volleyball,[7] cycling[8] and futsal. The latter one is being particularly successful, having won the league and cup in three consecutive years since 2011.[9]

History[edit]

Creation and Early Years (1948-1953)[edit]

On 23 May 1948 the board of APOEL FC sent 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 stating its wish for the "communist mutiny" to be ended. Club players considering this action as a political comment on the Greek Civil War distanced themselves or were expelled from APOEL.[10]

On 4 June 1948 Dr. Mattheos Papapetrou organized a meeting to form a new club in Nicosia . Many players expelled from APOEL were also invited and on 17 June 1948 Omonia was established. Along with other left-wing teams such as Nea Salamina, Alki Larnaca and Orfeas Nicosia, Omonia helped create in December 1948 the Cyprus Amateur Football Federation. Omonoia took part in the CAFF league until 1953 having won 4 out of 5 played championships and 5 out of 5 played cups. Omonia was then accepted by the Cyprus Football Association to participate in the Cypriot First Division.[11]

Beginnings in the Cypriot First Division (1953-1969)[edit]

After joining the Cypriot First Division 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.

The team would make its closest push for the title during the 1959–60 season after finishing 2nd, 1 point behind Anorthosis Famagusta.[12] The following year, after 7 seasons in the First Division, the club would win its first title in 1960–61 season.[13] Omonia, in that season would score 91 goals in 24 matches on their way to their first ever Cyprus First Division title. Omonia won their second title during the 1965–66 season.

Golden Era (1970s-1980s)[edit]

Sotiris Kaiafas is not only considered one of Omonia's all-time greatest, but the best footballer in the history of Cypriot football.

Omonia won its first trophies of the decade in 1972, when the club won both the league and the cup. Led by a young, Sotiris Kaiafas, Omonia won 7 league tittles in the 70s decade, six of the were consecutive in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979.[14] By the time the decade would come to an end, Omonia had a total of 9 championship titles and 3 cups. At the end of the 1979 season, Omonia trailed its arch rival APOEL by two championships. In 1976, Sotiris Kaiafas would go on and win the European Golden Shoe for his single-season 36-goal performance.[15] In 2003, he was awarded the UEFA Jubilee Awards for The Best Cypriot Footballer of the 20th Century.

The 1980s was a successful decade for the club as it won an additional seven Cypriot League Championship titles including another 5 consecutive in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, and in 1987 and in 1989.[16] As the 1980s came to an end, Omonia had won 14 Cypriot Championship Titles becoming the most successful team on the island at the time.[17]

General Decline (1990s-2000s)[edit]

The 1990s would prove to be less successful 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 years before Omonia would see its next title. In 1997 Omonia signed a German named Rainer Rauffmann who would later become the second top goal scorer ever for the club. 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.[18]

After a disappointing eight seasons, the 2000s decade began with a trophy . AC Omonia celebrated 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 (2010-2012)[edit]

Michalis Konstantinou, mostly credited for helping the team reach its 20th championship title[19]

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.[20]

Coach Takis Lemonis left the club after disappointing results and Dušan Bajević became the new coach in October 2010[21] but was fired in April 2011.[22] He was replaced by Neophytos Larkou.Omonia would not be able to repeat as Champion during the 2010–11 regular season, and instead had to settle with finishing 2nd,[23] 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 Limassol in the Cyprus Cup Final and won their 13th Coca-Cola Cup.[24]

Omonia spent a difficult year but managed to win their 14th Coca-Cola Cup starring Andre Alves who scored the winning goal against AEL Limassol.[25] 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.[26]

Financial Crisis (2012-present)[edit]

Coach Neophytos Larkou left the club in September 2012[27] and Toni Savevski was then appointed as coach. The team begun the season with a great win but found its second success after several games. A disappointing first round proved enough to exclude the club from contesting for the championship or the cup. The team managed better results in the second round finishing the season in 3rd place.[28] 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.

In 2013 Omonoia begun the new season with Toni Savevski as manager but he was sacked halfway besides positive results. Miguel Ángel Lotina was hired as the replacer[29] but was sacked just 37 days later.[30] Kostas Kaiafas, ex-player was then appointed as the new coach.[31] The club's financial difficulties returned despite the massive fundraiser organized the previous season. Omonoia ended 5th in the league[32] finishing its worst season in 56 years since the 1957-1958 season.[33]

Colours and badge[edit]

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.[34] 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.[35]

Stadium[edit]

Main article: GSP Stadium
Omonia's current stadium, GSP

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[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
1992–1994 Umbro Lois
1994–1998 Diadora KEO
1998–1999 Kappa
1999–2001 Umbro
2001–2004
2004–2007 Lotto LOEL juices
2007–2008 miVision
2008–2010 Ocean Tankers
2010–2012 Adidas Cytamobile-Vodafone
2012– Nike

Supporters[edit]

Main article: Gate-9
Omonia fans at an away match against FC Red Bull Salzburg

In Cyprus Omonoia is the most popular club. A study places the club as the most popular team on the island with 28.6% of asked Cypriot football fans stating they supported Omonoia.[36] The fans are known for their left-leaning, socialist character, with over 60% stating in a survey that they associate themselves with the communist Progressive Party of Working People[37] Omonia is also traditionally regarded as the club of Cyprus's working-class.[38] Many of Omonia's supporters can be seen waving banners bearing Che Guevara's image.[39] Gate 9, the team's ultras group, was established in 1992.[40] The group occupies the North stand at the GSP stadium during home games.[41] Omonia's fans are well known for their passion. The record for most tickets sold in a single season for Omonia stands at 162,061 tickets sold during the 2009–2010 season.[42]

Financial Crisis (2013-present) and 2013 Pan-Cypriot Fundraiser[edit]

By the end of February 2013 Omonia was struggling to meet the UEFA criteria due to the economic crisis that had engulfed the club. The president then decided to start a fundraiser and called for the supporters of the club to donate as much as they could. Hundreds of events were organised island wide with the motto; "ΕΙΜΑΙ ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ ΔΗΛΩΝΩ ΠΑΡΩΝ" meaning "I'M WITH OMONOIA, I DECLARE PRESENT".[43] Current and former players contributed by signing autographs and selling club merchandise. Although the situation at the beginning was described as grim, money poured in from all over the island and 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.[44] Despite the fundraiser's big outcome the club's financial difficulties returned in the 2013-2014 season.[45]

Honours[edit]

Cyprus Football Association

Cyprus Amateur Football Federation

European record[edit]

European Cup/UEFA Champions League[edit]

UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League[edit]

Players[edit]

First team squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Cyprus GK Constantinos Panagi
3 Georgia (country) DF Ucha Lobjanidze
4 Cyprus DF Demetris Moulazimis
5 Serbia DF Milan Stepanov
6 Spain MF Rodri
7 Cyprus FW Marios Demetriou
8 Cyprus FW Onisiforos Roushias
9 Spain FW Roberto
10 Georgia (country) MF Shota Grigalashvili
11 Brazil MF Alípio
14 Cyprus MF Giorgos Ivanov
15 Cyprus DF Pantelis Konomis
16 Portugal MF Cristóvão Ramos
17 France DF Anthony Scaramozzino
18 Cyprus DF Christoforos Charalambous
19 Cyprus MF Andreas Panayiotou
20 Cyprus MF Gerasimos Fylaktou
21 Portugal MF Nuno Assis
22 Spain FW Álex Rubio
No. Position Player
23 Cyprus MF Giorgos Economides
24 Georgia (country) DF Levan Kakubava
25 Cyprus GK Nikolas Charalambous
26 Ivory Coast MF Gaossou Fofana
28 Portugal MF Renato Margaça
31 Portugal GK José Moreira
32 Cyprus MF Constantinos Louvaris
33 Cyprus GK Antonis Georgallides
36 Cyprus MF Jack Sammoutis
39 Benin FW Mickaël Poté
40 Cyprus DF Charalambos Kyriakou (Captain)
44 Hungary MF Leandro
49 Cyprus MF Fanos Katelaris
88 Brazil MF Serginho
89 Germany DF Jonas Acquistapace
96 Cyprus MF Panayiotis Therapontos
97 Cyprus MF Andreas Sofokleous
98 Cyprus MF Sotiris Fiakas

Source: omonoia.com.cy

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player

Former players[edit]

For details of former players, see Category:AC Omonia players

Retired number[edit]

12Club supporters (the 12th man)

Club officials[edit]

Board of Directors[edit]

President Cyprus Doros Serafim
A Vice President Cyprus Panikos Neophytou
B Vice President Cyprus Lakis Polykarpou
General Secretary Cyprus Christos Neophytou
B General Secretary Cyprus Andreas Pashiortides
Member Cyprus Agis Iakovides
Member Cyprus Nikos Charalambous
Member Cyprus Photos Ioannou
Member Cyprus Costas Constantinou
Member Cyprus Andrea Lamprou
Member Cyprus Yiannakis Ioannou
Member Cyprus Christodoulos Christodoulou
Member Cyprus Antonis Zymaras
Member Cyprus Antonis Tzionis
Member Cyprus Costas Christou

Staff[edit]

Chief Executive Manager Cyprus Pavlos Nicolaides
Chief Financial Officer Cyprus Christodoulos Kyriakides
Media Officer Cyprus Andreas Demetriou
Marketing Officer Cyprus Valentina Stylianou
Administration Officer Cyprus Apostolos Mikellidis
Ticketing Officer Cyprus Andreas Petrou
Team Manager Cyprus Christos Tziambouris
Accountant Cyprus Yiota Rotou
Commercial Unit Officers Cyprus Stathis Vasiliou, Demetris Demetriou
Academy Officers Cyprus Andreas Miliotis, Kostakis Yiannouris, Charalambos Argyrou
Secretary Cyprus Niki Anthimou

Technical staff[edit]

Head coach Cyprus Kostas Kaiafas
Assistant coach Cyprus Ioakim Ioakim
Assistant & U-21 Coach Belgium Fangio Buyse
Physical fitness coach Cyprus Pavlos Kenan
Fitness trainer Cyprus Onisiforos Onisiforou
Goalkeeping coach Cyprus Christoforos Loizou
Scouter/Analyst Cyprus Michalis Sergiou
Scouter/Statistician Cyprus Stavros Stavrou

Source: omonoia.com.cy

Managerial history[edit]

  • Cyprus Tikran Misirian (1948–52)
  • England John Johnson (1952–53)
  • Cyprus Pampos Avraamides (1953–55)
  • Germany Hans Hounggehouizen (1955–57)
  • Germany Karl Vigler (1957–59)
  • Israel Eli Fuchs (1959–60)
  • Bulgaria Nako Tsiakmakov (1960–62)
  • Cyprus Tourai (1962–63)
  • Bulgaria Stoyan Petrov (1963–64)
  • Cyprus Andreas Keremezos (1964–65)
  • Bulgaria Georgi Pachedzhiev (1965–66), (first term)
  • Soviet Union Igor Netto (1966–67)
  • Bulgaria Georgi Barka (1967–68)
  • Bulgaria Georgi Pachedzhiev (1968–70), (second term)
  • Bulgaria Tziakarov (1970–71)
  • Bulgaria Dobromir Taskov (1971–72), (first term)
  • Bulgaria Vasile Spasov (1972–74), (first term)
  • Cyprus Andreas Constantinou (Esso) (1974–75)
  • Bulgaria Iltziev (1975–76)
  • Bulgaria Gavriel Stoyanov (1976–77)
  • Bulgaria Peter Argirov (1977–79)
  • Bulgaria Iancho Arsov (1979–80), (first term)
  • Bulgaria Vasile Spasov (1980–82), (second term)
  • Bulgaria Dobromir Taskov (1982–83), (second term)
  • Bulgaria Adanas Dramov (1983–85)
  • Bulgaria Georgi Tinkov (1985–86)
  • Bulgaria Iancho Arsov (1986–89), (second term)
  • Bulgaria Bozhil Kolev (1989–90)
  • Austria Helmut Senekowitsch (1990–91)
  • Brazil Graziano Zakarel (1991–92)
  • Bulgaria Iancho Arsov (1992–94), (third term)
  • Germany Gerhard Prokop (1994–96)
  • Austria Walter Skocik (1995–96)
  • Bulgaria Angel Kolev (1996–97)
  • Cyprus Andreas Michaelides (1997–99)
  • Slovakia Dušan Galis (1999)
  • Bulgaria Iancho Arsov (1999–00), (fourth term)
  • Bulgaria Asparuh Nikodimov (2000)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.omonoia.com.cy/?lang=EN&tab=football&section=intro
  2. ^ http://www.e-soccer.gr/-proistoria-833/-proistoria-457/-proistoria-471
  3. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cypcuphist.html
  4. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cypsupcuphist.html
  5. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cypcuphist.html
  6. ^ http://www.all4basketball.com/team-detail.php?tm=19&lang=gr
  7. ^ http://www.balla.com.cy/3/42_Cyprus/63011_Omonia_Petosfera_Aisiodoxia__aytopepoithisi__ala_ke_realismos
  8. ^ http://www.kerkida.net/articles/alles-stiles/koys-koys/28623-omonoia-podilato
  9. ^ http://www.balla.com.cy/futsal/16579-protathlitria_i_aititi_omonia
  10. ^ http://magazine.apopsi.com.cy/2008/07/281
  11. ^ http://www.ant1iwo.com/athlitika/2013/06/17/omonoia-san-shmera-to-1948/
  12. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cyphist.html
  13. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cyphist.html
  14. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cyphist.html
  15. ^ http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=cyp/news/newsid=144838.html
  16. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cyphist.html
  17. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cyphist.html
  18. ^ http://www.e-soccer.gr/-proistoria-833/-proistoria-457/-proistoria-471
  19. ^ http://simerini.com.cy/lifestyle/people/115654
  20. ^ http://www.cfa.com.cy/En/competitionstage/45/75/12/2009%20-%202010
  21. ^ http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/soccer/story/Dusan-Bajevic-new-coach-of-Cyprus-champion-Omonia-86335597
  22. ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2011-04-14-1078563094_x.htm
  23. ^ http://www.cfa.com.cy/En/competitionstage/62/125/15/2010-2011
  24. ^ http://www.cfa.com.cy/Gr/kofixtures/78/138/15/2010-2011
  25. ^ http://www.parikiaki.com/2012/05/omonia-cup-winners-in-cyprus/
  26. ^ http://www.cfa.com.cy/En/competitionstage/87/178/14/2011-2012
  27. ^ http://www.parikiaki.com/2012/09/omonia-sack-manager-2/
  28. ^ http://www.cfa.com.cy/En/competitionstage/111/218/13/2012-2013
  29. ^ http://cyprus-mail.com/2013/12/31/lotina-takes-over-omonia-hot-seat/
  30. ^ http://cyprus-mail.com/2014/02/07/lotina-given-the-boot-by-omonia/
  31. ^ http://www.gol-futbol.com/kostas-kaiafas-returns-to-omonia/
  32. ^ http://www.cfa.com.cy/Gr/competitions/1374198/1704614
  33. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/cyphist.html
  34. ^ http://www.iconarchive.com/show/greek-football-club-icons-by-giannis-zographos/Omonia-Nicosia-icon.html
  35. ^ http://www.trifylli.net/2013/07/20/άκρων-βολιστής-omonoia-logo/
  36. ^ http://www.cltsconsulting.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/cyprus-football-survey.pdf page 5
  37. ^ http://www.kathimerini.com.cy/index.php/index.php?pageaction=kat&modid=1&artid=10294&show=Y
  38. ^ http://www.peoplesworld.org/omonoia-feisty-team-blends-sports-and-left-politics/
  39. ^ http://www.peoplesworld.org/omonoia-feisty-team-blends-sports-and-left-politics/
  40. ^ http://www.balla.com.cy/3/14_Protathlima_a_katigorias/63798_THyra_9_Sto_istoriko_Vorio_petalo_tou_Makareiou
  41. ^ http://www.peoplesworld.org/omonoia-feisty-team-blends-sports-and-left-politics/
  42. ^ http://www.cfa.com.cy/?lang=Gr&show=news&NewsArticleID=6727
  43. ^ http://www.sigmalive.com/sports/football/cyprus/a+league/522026
  44. ^ http://www.omonoia.com.cy/?lang=GR&tab=paron
  45. ^ http://www.ant1iwo.com/athlitika/2014/03/17/omonoia-h-oikonomikh-ekstrateia-enocei-t/
  46. ^ http://www.omonoia.com.cy/default.asp?lang=GR&tab=football&section=news&nid=2055#

External links[edit]