Limassol Stadium, controversial venue for the Cyprus versus England European Nations Cup match today (11 May), is better equipped for refugees than for football.
SV Sign "Cyprus Vs England"
SV England team quarters sign
GV INT People packing foodstuffs for refugees (5 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT FROM Changing room sign TO people carrying food parcels and loading them on lorry (4 shots)
GV Lorry leaves stadium
SV & GV England players onto pitch and examine ground (3 shots)
Initials BB/2130 TH/AW/BB/2120
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Background: Limassol Stadium, controversial venue for the Cyprus versus England European Nations Cup match today (11 May), is better equipped for refugees than for football.
For months, the stadium has served as the central stores for refugees in the Limassol area. Every morning at 7 o'clock, volunteer Greek-Cypriots come to divide up relief supplies for distribution.
Over 35,000 refugees -- including 4,000 Turkish-Cypriots -- depend on supplies originating from the stadium. Each day, food, blankets, clothes and other equipment are taken from stadium store rooms and loaded onto lorries for distribution.
The work even continued today, the day of the match, with the main dressing room being used to weigh out food supplies.
So the visiting England team will be using the reserves dressing room, instead. Yesterday, shortly after their arrival team members stepped out into the hot Cypriot sun for their first look at the controversial Limassol stadium pitch.
One journalist with the party described the playing surface as a goat pasture -- not the place for the thoroughbreds of English football to show off their paces. But England team manager Don Revie was more diplomatic in his comments about the newly-laid pitch.
"It's not prefect", he said. "But it's a hundred times better than when I saw it in January."
But at least there's been no hint of the anti-British feeling which caused the match to be postponed in January. In the earlier meeting between the two team, at London's Wembley stadium, England won 5-0.