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Panathinaikos told to find new venue

Published: Tuesday 16 November 2004, 18.37CET
Panathinaikos FC's Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium has been ruled not up to UEFA Champions League standard.

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Published: Tuesday 16 November 2004, 18.37CET

Panathinaikos told to find new venue

Panathinaikos FC's Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium has been ruled not up to UEFA Champions League standard.
Panathinaikos FC must find a new home ground for future UEFA Champions League matches after UEFA confirmed to the club today that their Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium in Athens was not up to standard.

Decision by 5 December
The Greek champions are permitted to play their third and final Champions League group stage match at the ground but must find another stadium for any subsequent matches in the competition. They play PSV Eindhoven on 7 December in Athens and must notify UEFA by 5 December of their choice of an alternative venue should they progress. Panathinaikos are presently third in Group E.

Alternative
One obvious alternative is the city's Olympic Stadium, which is where AEK Athens FC are playing their home matches at present. On the evidence of the first two group stage matches, UEFA found that many facilities in the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium no longer met the high requirements demanded for the Champions League.

Home of 80 years
Panathinaikos, who have been considering building a new stadium for some time now, have played at the Apostolis Nikolaidis stadium since 1924. For a 16-year period, between 1984 and 2000, they moved to the Olympic Stadium until it was closed for rebuilding ahead of this summer's Games.

Last updated: 17/11/04 0.08CET

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