|February 13th, 2002
HARILAOU STADIUM and APOSTOLOS NIKOLAIDIS STADIUM (Leoforos) will be the two homes of the Greek National Team for the next 3 years, according to manager Otto Rehagel. The reason for this move is that the Athens Olympic Stadium will be closed until the summer of 2004, as it will be reconstructed for the Olympic Games.
"Harilaou is probably the most beautiful stadium in Greece. We, as a National Team, must take advantage from that. This is why I insisted that the friendly game against Sweden should be played there. The stands are right next to the pitch and the fans can create a very "warm" atmosphere that will be of great help to our players. I believe that stadia without an athletics track are much better than those where the distance between the fans and the players is big. In this way, Harilaou is ideal. For this reason I will ask the Greek F.A. to always fix our home games in smaller stadia, while when we play in Athens we will use Leoforos. We can't use the biggest stadium in Greece, due to its reconstruction, so this means that we must search for alternatives", Rehagel stated.
The German manager had also something to say about the cities that will host games of the Greek National Team in the future: "Athens is the favourite, when it comes to official international matches. Of course, people in other cities away from the capital want to watch the National Team, and rightfully so. However, our decision depends on various factors, while travel is not always easy. This is why they must show some understanding."