One of the longest stadium renovation phases in history has come to an end: On Monday, traditional Greek club AEK Athens was finally able to play a proper home game at the “Hagia Sofia” for the first time since May 3, 2003.
On their comeback after 19 years, AEK won 4-1 (2-0) against Ionikos Nikea, former Bundesliga professional Mijat Gacinovic scored 1-0 and 4-0.
The stadium was badly damaged by an earthquake in Athens in 1999 and was to be rebuilt in the run-up to the 2004 Olympic Games.
Countless games followed in a total of nine alternative locations and many sporting, financial and legal problems relating to one of the largest football clubs in Greece.
Most recently, AEK switched to the Olympic Stadium in Athens for its home games.
AEK could have sold well over 100,000 tickets for the return to their own stadium, and in the end 32,000 fans were able to see the clear home win.