Sports

The great social phenomenon of our time, the king of sports – the football – could not be out of sight in our village.What makes the Chloraka’s club Akritas to stand out beyond any football successes, beyond the soccer talent occasionally it showed, was and is its partisan, out-of-any-party character.And it managed to achieve it so at the time when the parties’ bickering, not only in our village, but in all the island was very intense.

The worshippers of this English sport elder residents of Chloraka, such as George Kapodistrias, Panagiotis Passios, ChristofiasAndreu, Dimitris Spirou, Andreas I. Azinas, RikkosLaouris, Frixos Nicholaou, Agathoklis Georgiou, Andreas Koutis, Cleitus Panayiotou and so many others, exchanged often with football matches in the sandlots of Melanos.

Little by little, every neighborhood of Chloraka got its field, which the children took care of to clean it of the stones and grasses and establish it as their headquarters.In the 1960s there were four football teams in the neighborhood: New Olympics, Storm, Lightning and Thunderbolt.These teams arranged their matches each weekend.At the same time, there were two more party-oriented groups in the village.A left-winged that was known as “Astir” and the right-winged, under various names during the times –  “Digenis Akritas”, “Apollo” and “NationalCenter. “These teams played matches with each other and with other teams as well from the neighboring villages.Every football meeting between the two party-oriented teams was an important event for the whole village.

In the early 70s, a Panagrotiko (Pan-agricultural) championship was arranged in Paphos. Costas K. Pentaras, the unforgettable Andreas E. X Kleovoulou and Efthyvoulos Christodoulou decided to establish a partisan (out-of-any-party) club and to integrate the P.O.A.S.P. (The Pan-Cypriot Association of Football Players).In addition, the then government granted £ 200 to each newly established club for the healthy employment of youth.For the realization of their idea our three progressive villagers approached the unforgettable Kyriakos Leonidas.The association’s name was the idea of Kostas Pentaras.Initially, he thought of naming it as “Dighenis Akritas”, but the name “Dighenis” would definitely provoke reactions and for this reason he proposed the name of “Akritas”, which was accepted by all.

Akritas Chlorakas (1971)
Ακρίτας Χλώρακας (1973)

So, in 1971 the football club, “Akritas Chlorakas”, was founded, which was immediately embraced with love from the whole community. Evthivoulos Christodoulou was assigned as the first coach, and he led the team to win the double during the seasons of 1971-72 and 1972-73. The first Administrative Council of Akritas consisted of:

Kiriako Leonida    –     Chairman

Andrea Stamati      –     Vice-Chairman

Matheo Kannavia      –   Treasurer

Andrea Chatzikleovoulou      –    Secretary

Efstathio Christodoulou       –  Curator

Andrea Nikodimou          –   Curator

The two consecutive successful years, created a climate of euphoria in the club and the team members decided to join the power of the CFA.In order for a team to join the CFA’s power, it should have had a stadium that meets certain conditions, with capacity of at least 500 seats. Also, each team of A’ category (First Class) should have approved the Akrita application to joint CFA.

A commission was set up to build the stadium, which decided to raise a loan from the LLPChloraka. The loan was guaranteed by Georgios Leonidas (Mavros), Andreas Ch. Kleovoulou Kyriakos Leonidas, Andreas Efthyvoulou, and Ioannis Liasidis, as Guarantors.The people of Chloraka, the village authorities and foremost, the LLP helped a lot.

The project was contracted to Efstathios Christodoulou, who offered the best bid (£ 2.150).In 1973, the stadium was ready and everything was impeccable during the inspection of the sports facilities by the CFA.Now, it was going to get the positive vote of all the A-class clubs.At the same time, TH.O.I. Lakatamia football club was also trying to join the CFA.Andreas Ch. Kleovoulou, Kyriakos Leonidas and Efthyvoulos Christodoulou negotiated with football clubs of Cyprus and begged the competent club members to give their positive vote in favor of Chloraka’ club.This campaign was also strongly assisted by the former CEO of CFA, Andreas Stylianou, who then served the Federation as its staff’ head.Eventually, their efforts bore fruit and in 1973 the Akritas team joined the CFA.

Each newly-formed team in the Federation was ranked in the third category, with a total of 12 teams.Kyriakos Papantoniou became a new coach of the team, who also played as a defender.The first match of Akritas was given at the GSE stadium with the Anagennisi Deryneia team on 27 October 1973. That match ended with victory for the Akritas.In the 1974-75 football season, a special joint championship of B and C categories was arranged, because many teams had been dissolved due to the war.During this season, Akritas finished first with APOP club team, but it was not announced as a champion, because APOPhad a better goal difference.

The chronological landmark in Akritas’ history was the 1976-77 season.In this football season, Akritas was crowned champion of C category.The coach of the team was Kyriakos Papantoniou and the team captain was Georgios Geros.The latter was perhaps the highest scorer of all time in Akritas. At that year, Akritas attacked with 66 goals scored, out of which the 48 goals were scored by Geros.

From 1977 to 1999 the Akritas team played in Category B, and then was relegated to C Category.The stadium in 1994 was covered with grass lawn, and its capacity increased to approximately 1,500 seats.

The decade of 2000-2009: It remains in Category C for four periods.In the 2002-03 season it gained the second place and was promoted to the second category.In the 2003-04 season it won the fifth place in the second category for the third time.In the 2004-05 season it finished in 14th place and was downgraded.In the 2005-06 season’ ‘C’ Category Championship it took the third place and returned to the Category ‘B’.It was relegated again in the 2007-08 season to return to the 2008-09 season with the C-Category championship for the second time in its history.In addition, it participated in the newly established statute of the Cup of D – C categories, reaching the semis.

The decade of 2010-2017: After that, Akritas remains in the B category for four seasons.In the 2012-13 season it takes the 13th place, and is relegated to ‘C’ category again.In the 2013-14 season it participates for the second time in the C-category Cup championship to be again excluded in the semifinals.In the following season it managed to reach the final and win the trophy by winning the final with PAOK with a score of 1-0.In the period of 2015-16 it won the C category championship and was promoted to ‘B” category. In the period of 2016-17 was demoted to the C category.

The sports club of Akritas is a Community unity that has been functioning for about thirty years with huge offering to the youth of Chloraka. Today, in addition to the first and second teams, there is a football academy for young children. It is estimated that Akritas’ association employs about one hundred and fifty young people. In addition to the club’s specific football goals, it is also a healthy youth employment scheme that will keep the youth away from dangerous and psychological activities, as well as will cultivate the spirit of collegiality, discipline and solidarity.

The coach of Akritas Efthivoulos Christodoulou is awarded with the ethos prize . (13/4/1983)
Akritas Training (1973)