November 16th, 2004
The final rendezvous has been set for Tuesday, December 7th 2004. The match will be Panathinaikos FC vs. PSV Eindhoven and it will be the last European game to be played at the ageing APOSTOLOS NIKOLAIDIS (a.k.a. LEOFOROS) STADIUM. UEFA decided and informed the Greek club that the historic venue no longer meets its strict standards.
The timing of the decision is somewhat odd, in that the season started many months ago. It seems though that UEFA's patience towards Greek clubs is over. In previous years, many of the top venues in the country were being upgraded for the 2004 Olympic Games. Panathinaikos and other clubs had no choice but to move to smaller and older stadia. Now that the Olympics are over, UEFA has no reason to continue being lenient on Greek clubs.
The question is, what will Panathinaikos do? The most obvious solution is a move to the renovated Athens Olympic Stadium for the Champions League or the UEFA Cup (but not Greek league games). However, there are rumours that the club may choose to move to the Panthessalian, the Panpeloponnesian or the Pancretan Stadium.
Works at the Apostolos Nikolaidis (Leoforos) Stadium (3/7/01)
Apostolos Nikolaidis (Leoforos) Stadium approved by UEFA (8/9/01)