Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 July 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 JULY 2018 27 SPORT Santorini prepares to hold major sporting event The Santorini Experience set to make its return in the early days of September One of the most visually attractive, yet physically demanding competitions is getting ready to open its gates for yet another year. The award-winning Santorini Experience will welcome all participating athletes who are willing to challenge themselves from 5 - 7 October. The running event will feature three different courses throughout the island, consisting of five, 10, and 15 kilmetres respectively. They will all have their start and finish line at the city of Oia, as they go past the gorgeous villages of Imerovigli and Firostefani, and will overlook the volcano and the caldera. The tracks are designed by former professional marathon runner and Greek Classic route record-holder, Nikos Polias, who announced the event saying: "It is a great pleasure for us, to be on the beautiful island of Santorini, for the fourth consecutive year, to live another breathtaking experience with three splendid routes on the caldera, having as a backdrop the island's world-famous volca- no. Three quite demanding routes, with a 135m minimum altitude and a 334m maximum altitude. On a dirt path with recessed stones, with paved and asphalt road in some points, making it even more difficult for the runners. Our goal this year is to see as many runners as possible from many places around the world, since last year we had the impressive number of participants from more than 40 countries. “The Santorini Experience has been established in the runners' consciousness and we wish everyone who chooses this event to be completely satisfied." There will also be swimming events, held with the approval of the Hellenic Swimming Federation. The Santorini Experience is being held by the municipality of Santorini, in collaboration with the Municipal Sports Cultural Environmental Organisation of Santorini (DAPPOS) and the Active Media Group. Registrations for the Santorini Experience close 31 August. Anyone interested can register at activemedia. travelotopos.com Who are South Melbourne’s A-League expansion rivals? CON STAMOCOSTAS With the help of former head of A-League, Archie Fraser, Neos Kosmos analyses South Melbourne's rival bidders for A-League expansion: NSW AND ACT South-Western Sydney FC Located near the proposed second Sydney airport, the bid heads as far south as Bowral while also taking in the heartland of former NSL clubs Marconi Stallions, Sydney United, and Western Sydney Wanderers. Archie's verdict: No chance. Too close in area to the Wanderers. United for Macarthur (Campbelltown) Backed by the City of Campbelltown where the stadium is based, the bid is also vying for the same catchment area as rival bidder South West Sydney FC. Archie's verdict: Businessman Lang Walker appears to be very serious and is heavily invested in the area. If he wants it, he will find a way get it. Southern Expansion (Sutherland, St George and Wollongong) The support of SBS presenter Craig Foster, Liverpool star Craig Johnston, and former NSW premier Morris Iemma gives the three-region bid a high profile. Archie's verdict: No chance. An ambitious plan to play across three regions of Wol- longong, St George, and Sutherland Shire. Chinese backers might just get a lesson in doing business in NSW football and politics. Canberra & Capital Region Canberra hopes to emulate the Bundesliga model where the fans own a controlling stake in the team and make key decisions such as ticket prices. Archie's verdict: We should have a team here just to keep close to the politicians. The stadium is already there, but inclusion is unlikely to happen as that is too strategic for the FFA. Wollongong Wolves Former NSL club Wollongong Wolves have made a call to arms for the community to be part of the ‘Wolfpack’ and ignore Southern Expansion. Archie's verdict: They have a football heartland, city, and history in the game. At least they want to play out of the one stadium. Worthy of serious consideration. VICTORIA Team 11 (Dandenong) The bid is backed by the Greater Dandenong, City of Casey, and Cardinia Shire councils, and Gerry Ryan of Jayco Caravans has pledged to financially support the club. Archie's verdict: Still needs a stadium to be built, but the region is expanding. Don't be surprised if they recruit some expert help to shore this up. Have to be in the final mix. Former head of A-League (2009-2010) Archie Fraser analyses South Melbourne’s rival bidders. Western Melbourne (Geelong) Formerly based in Geelong, they now have Wyndham Council backing the bid, and providing them land in Tarneit - 25km west of Melbourne’s CBD. Archie's verdict: Their renderings of the train station, stadium, footpaths and training facilities are magnificent. An ambitious plan with excellent social and paid media. Unfortunately it's for next time. QLD Brisbane City A former NSL club with plans to play out of Ballymore Stadium, they have secured approval by council for refurbishment. They also have ex-Brisbane Roar star Thomas Broich to coach the NPL and academy teams. Archie's verdict: Good NSL history and people. Maybe just too close to the Roar fan base for a genuine bid, and to be able to attract a big fan base long-term. A long shot - maybe next time round. ARCHIE'S WINNERS: South Melbourne It would send a significant message of hope and meaning to all existing clubs around the country with aspirations of playing at the highest level, that the door is open to everyone who wants to play. Macarthur Sydney needs another club, this is the best location to minimise the impact on Sydney FC and Wanderers, and this bid has the funding behind it. Vasiliadis: ‘12 teams or nothing’ Peristeri braces to welcome Diego Maradona Argentine legend set to watch the game between the suburban Athens team Atromitos and his own Dinamo Brest What is an international football legend doing in a working-class suburb of Athens? In the case of Diego Maradona, he's there to attend a match between Atromitos and Dinamo Brest, in the former team’s home stadium at Peristeri, Athens. The draw of the second qualifying round of the 2019/2020 UEFA Europa League brought Atromitos facing off against the team from Belarus, who are now under the ownership of the Argentinian legend. Maradona's ownership of the club has been known for quite a while, yet it was unveiled just last Monday when he arrived in Belarus and gave a press conference during which he promised to do his best for the club and for football in the country in general. The teams will compete on 26 July in Minsk, with the repeat game being played on 2 August. Dinamo Minsk is currently in sixth position in the Belarusian league with 25 points, with BATE Borisof currently topping the table with 41. Greek Deputy Minister of Sports warns club owners to comply with his proposal Super League Greece continues to be plagued with problems at the administrative level. This week, league members had a meeting to discuss a proposal by the Greek Deputy Minister of Sports, Giorgos Vasiliadis, to determine the number of participating teams in the two top-tier leagues (Super League, Football League) and their reduction from 16 to 12 for better financial sustainability. The meeting was fruitless, and the members of the League failed to reach a solid agreement. In particular, when asked about the deputy minister's proposal to reduce the teams from 16 to 14 in the next season and from 14 to 12 in the 2020/2021 season, they seemed to only agree with the first part, keeping in mind that not being able to participate in the country's top league could mean a huge hit for the financials of the clubs by missing out on broadcasting deals. Seeing this response from the club owners, the minister released a statement in which he pointed out the reasons that the team reduction was vital for the financial survival of the league, and made it clear that he would not be entering into any further negotiations about the matter. "The proposal that was made to you, had, a purpose to achieve financial consolidation and establish a climate of reliability, among the members of your organisation and the sports community in general," reads the statement, outlining a basic set of rules that would mark reform and create a climate of "financial security" and "healthy competition" among 24 professional teams. "At the same time, through the public broadcaster, the reformed and restructured Greek championship would enter the houses of all Greeks within the country but also in the diaspora," the minister stressed. "With your recent decision and your proposal towards us, although you do reveal your will for the institutional interventions (...) you nonetheless fail to address the financial issues (...). The existence of more than 12 teams demands either more funds, which are unavailable, or a reduced guaranteed broadcast rights revenue, something that would render the proposal essentially ineffective." The minister's statement, which many perceived as an ultimatum, concludes with a call for cooperation between all stakeholders, including the Greek Football Association, UEFA, and the ministry, to "upgrade athletic infratstructure," to "set barriers against violence," and to plan for a "future with financial security that would bring growth and allow for the public to return to the stadiums." In the meantime, the Super League is supposed to begin on 25 August, and the draw has yet to be made. Western Pride (Ipswich) Play in the QLD NPL and their bid plans to redevelop their home ground North Ipswich Reserve. Nineteen Socceroos have come from the area, and the team see themselves as ready-made rivals to Brisbane Roar. Archie's verdict: Once the Queensland Government build an NRL stadium around Springfield Lakes, they should then have a team. A token gesture to keep QLD interested, but not this time round.
14 July 2018
28 July 2018