The club was established in 1948 and became member of Cyprus Football Association in 1953. As an athletic club, Omonia has basketball, volleyball, futsal and cycling sections.
Cyprus amateur football association
AC Omonia was founded in 1948, just after the Second World War. The establishment of the Club (along with that of a few others), was evoked from the political turbulence of that period and the conflict between left-wings and right-wings due to the Greek Civil War. In May 1948, APOEL sent a letter based on political content to SEGAS (Greek Gymnastic-Athletic Clubs Association), violating the club's statute to not be involved in politics. After that letter, several footballers of the club criticized the their club but that followed the expulsion of those players from the team. Those players with some other people established the new club of Nicosia, with the name Athletic Club Omonia Nicosia.
In 1953, the Cyprus Amateur Football Association teams were accepted to become members of the Cyprus Football Association, including AC Omonia, who joined as a First Division team. The Club announced its arrival on the Cypriot football scene by winning their first league title in 1960/61. Omonia finished seven points above second-placed Anorthosis Famagusta FC that season - and they have subsequently stayed ahead of their rivals in the first division with an impressive hall of trophies.
The golden decades of 1970s-1980s
Omonia Nicosia's dominance in Cypriot football, however, didn't come until 1974. They were most dominant in the 1970s, winning the league for six consecutive seasons from 1974 to 1979, a record that until today remains unbeaten. It was then that Omonia produced one of Cyprus's greatest footballers in striker Sotiris Kaiafas, as well as the impressive Gregory Savvas. Kaiafas would win the European Golden Boot after finishing as Europe's top domestic scorer in 1976 with 39 goals - an accolade still considered the greatest achievement by any Cypriot player. After Kaiafas, the next great striker of the team was Spas Tsevizof.
Despite the gap in quality between Omonia and other European champions, Omonia proved to be worthy opponents in UEFA club competition. In the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1979/80, they recovered from a 10-0 defeat at AFC Ajax to win the return leg 4-0 with a dazzling display in Nicosia.
After the departure of Kaiafas, Omonia continued to produce talented players to keep up their winning ways. They were champions from 1981 to 1985 and again in 1987 and 1989. Stars of the 1980s golden decade were Georgios Savvidis and Spas Dzhevizov.
But despite claiming the title in 1993, Omonia were forced to live in the shadow of Anorthosis in the 1990s. Even so, the fans were able to enjoy the goalscoring exploits of Hungarian Joseph Juriac during the first part of the decade, and later those of Rainer Rauffmann.
A native German, Rauffmann first arrived at the club in 1997. He was the island's leading marksman for four years and also played for Cyprus national football team after gaining Cypriot citizenship. He retired due to a knee injury at the age of 36. Another star of the 1990s was midfield player Kostakis Malekkos, who later played for APOEL.
Colours and badge
The badge of the club is the shamrock. The shamrock represents the strength, the struggle, the insistence of the Omonia founders who were in difficult situation and it is also green which is the colour of the hope. Thus, the colours of the club are the green and the white. The Omonia founders chose the green colour, the "hope's colour", because despite that they were in difficult situation after the political events that took place in Cyprus in 1948 with their expulsion from APOEL, they hoped that better days were coming for the football in Cyprus, and also the new club, Omonia, would lead, become a pioneer and triumph in Cypriot football and also would have been in the conscience of the Cypriot people.
Main articles: GSP Stadium and Eleftheria Indoor Hall
The team's home ground from 1999 onwards, which they share with local rivals APOEL and Olympiakos Nicosia is the 22,859 seater Neo GSP Stadium, (also known as the Pancypria Stadium) the biggest stadium in Cyprus. The team's previous stadium was Makario Stadium, since 1978 and before that the Palaio (Old) GSP Stadium since 1953, when the team joined the Cyprus Football Association. Both stadiums, like the New GSP Stadium, were shared as well by the other Nicosian teams, APOEL and Olympiakos. In the first years of its establishment, as a team of Cyprus amateur football association, Omonia was using the "Goal" Stadium. Plans have been drawn for Omonia to construct its own privately owned stadium near Tseri, a village just outside Nicosia .
The club's basketball team hosts its matches at the biggest indoor sport venue in the island, the Eleftheria Indoor Hall with a capacity of 6,800 seats while the volleyball team shares the Lefkotheo Indoor Hall which was built in 1980 with APOEL Nicosia. For the 2006-07 season, the futsal team uses the Indoor Hall of Melkonian institute which is a part of the institute complex and has capacity of 500 seats.
Omonia's fans are considered to be left-wing in their majority. Today they are estimated to be around 42% of the Cypriot people. Unlike the other teams of Cyprus, Omonia is so popular that today they have a lot of supporters from all the cities, towns and places in Cyprus, especially in Limassol, where they are estimated as the third most supported team after the other town's teams Apollon and AEL FC. During the years, after the political crisis in many Cypriot football clubs, where new leftist clubs were founded, the Cyprus football amateur federation was having much more attendance in the stadiums than the Cyprus FA championship because of Omonia which is by far the most popular in the island. The popularity of Omonia was one of the main reasons for the unification of Cypriot football and the acceptance of the leftist teams in the Cyprus Football Association.
They had a big difference attendances, since they existed before any other team in Cyprus; also, the GSP Stadium, the venue the team had for home games before, was considered too small for the team. In many matches tickets were sold in few hours after they were available, especially in matches against the arch-rival APOEL Nicosia.
In 2001, the team broke the record in Cyprus concerning ticket sales, with the number of 109,303 tickets sold. In 2003, they broke their own record with the improved figure of 140,740 and the record was broken again the following year with 143,033 tickets sold. As a note, this number was bigger than many popular teams in Europe.
There are two major fan clubs supporting the team, PA.SY.FI. and Gate 9, which is the most active and biggest fan club. The club took its name from Kaiafas' father, Sotiris Kaiafas, who won the European Golden Boot in 1976 and was first organised in 1992. Since then they are following the team everywhere in the world. In some away European matches, there were more than 800 or sometimes 1000 supporters. A small but loyal group of fans are lovingly called "The Zany Ones" - they like to wear hats made from discarded shoes and have a song about a little potato.
In 2008, a notable and pioneering task was undertaken by 20 loyal fans of OMONOIA, members of GATE 9(ΘΥΡΑ9). A decision was made not to miss a single match for the forthcoming season, thus they followed OMONOIA to Maribor, where the team would give a series of training/friendly matches. This was a first for Cypriot Fan scene and their target was to establish a tradition for combined holidays with the team's training trips abroad.
On July 17th 2008, in the first European match against FK Milano, Omonoia fans totaled nearly 18,000 strong. At second qualifying round second leg in GSP the fans achieved a sold out and they totaled more than 19,000 strong and for once again Omonia fans proved that GSP is too small for Omonia fans.
Total income: ▲ €1,750,000
Board of directors
* President: Miltiadis Neophytou
* Manager: Nedim Dudić Bosnia and Herzegovina Cyprus
* First Team Physiotherapist: Nikos Loizides Cyprus
* Official Shirt Sponsor - Ocean Tankers
* Aspis Bank
Listed according to when they debuted for AC Omonia (year in parentheses):
* Cyprus Sotiris Kaiafas (1967)
* the Soviet Union Igor Netto (1967)
Cyprus Football Association
* Cypriot Championship: 19
1961, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993, 2001, 2003
* Cypriot Cup: 12
1965, 1972, 1974, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1991, 1994, 2000, 2005
* LTV Super Cup: 14
1966, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2001, 2003, 2005
Cyprus Amateur Football Federation
* Championship: 4
1949, 1950, 1951, 1952
* Cup: 5
1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953
* Biggest Victory: 11-0 v Doxa Katokopia, Championship, January 17, 2004
1. ^ "Exclusiv / Claudiu Niculescu s-a înţeles cu Omonia Nicosia" (in Română). www.prosport.ro (2007-07-22). Retrieved on 2008-07-22.
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