Olympiakos Piraeus FC are to return to their traditional home at the Karaiskaki stadium after a deal was agreed to lease it back to the Athens club from the Hellenic Olympic Committee (EOE).
Olympiakos occupied the Karaiskaki until the mid-1990s when they switched to the Olympic Stadium, also known as OAKA Spiros Louis. However, the stadium was closed in the summer as renovation work began ahead of the 2004 Olympics which will be held in the Greek capital, forcing Olympiakos to groundshare the Rizoupoli stadium with Apollon Athens.
The Greek champions have long wanted to return to their former base but were barred in the past by the EOE who insisted that any renovation work should include a track for athletics. Olympiakos countered that by proposing to pay to rebuild the stadium, without a track, in return for ownership of the ground. As the EOE cannot meet the costs, the government decided to hand the derelict site back to the football club.
The Greek culture minister, Evangelos Venizelos, announced that the stadium, which will hold 33,000 spectators after refurbishment, would be the frontrunner to host the Olympic final, although the decision will rest with FIFA.
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.