AC Omonia


Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia (Greek: Αθλητικός Σύλλογος Oμόνοιας Λευκωσίας, ΑΣΟΛ; Athlitikos Sillogos Omonoias Lefkosias, ASOL; Omonia is Greek for "amity") is a Cypriot professional football club based in Nicosia. The club was established on 4 June 1948. The football team of AC Omonia joined the Cyprus Football Association in 1953. On 14 June 2018 the football team of AC Omonoia became a professional for-profit football company.[1]

Omonoia
Full nameΑθλητικός Σύλλογος Ομόνοια Λευκωσίας
Nickname(s)The Queen
Founded4 June 1948; 73 years ago (1948-06-04)
GroundDasaki Stadium
Capacity22,859
OwnerStavros Papastavrou
ChairmanMarios Argyrides
ManagerHenning Berg
LeagueFirst Division
2019–20First Division, 1st
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Omonoia is the most popular and the most historically successful football clubs in Cyprus, having won 21 national championships, 14 cups and 17 super cups.[2] Omonia holds an outstanding record of 14 championships in two decades (between 1970–1989), a record of being either champion or runner-up 14 times in a row in the championship (between 1973-1986), and the record of having won the Cypriot Cup four times in a row (between 1980 and 1983).

The AC Omonia also operates basketball,[3] volleyball,[4] cycling[5] and futsal. The latter one is being particularly successful, having won the league and cup in three consecutive years since 2011.[6]

History


Creation and early years (1948–1953)

On 23 May 1948, the governing board of APOEL football club sent a telegram to the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics (Greek: Σ.Ε.Γ.Α.Σ.), with the opportunity of the annual Panhellenic Track and Field Competition. In its telegram, the board stated its wish for what it described as the "communist mutiny" to be ended. Club players considering this action as a specifically political comment on the Greek Civil War distanced themselves from the board and were duly expelled from APOEL.[7] On 4 June 1948, Dr. Mattheos Papapetrou organized a meeting in Nicosia that led to the creation of Omonia. Many players expelled from APOEL were present at the meeting and joined the new club. Along with other left-wing teams such as Nea Salamina, Alki Larnaca and Orfeas Nicosia, Omonia helped create in December 1948 the Cyprus Amateur Football Federation. Omonia took part in the CAFF league until 1953, having won four out of five played championships and five out of five played cups. Omonia was then accepted by the Cyprus Football Association to participate in the Cypriot First Division

Beginnings in the Cypriot First Division (1953–1969)

After joining the Cypriot First Division in 1953, Omonia only placed seventh out of nine teams in the 1953–54 season, barely avoiding relegation. During that decade, the club's best placing came during the 1956–57 season when the club finished in the third position.

The team would make its closest push for the title during the 1959–60 season after finishing second, one point behind Anorthosis Famagusta.[8] The following year, after seven seasons in the First Division, the club would win its first title in 1960–61 season.[8] Omonia, in that season, would score 91 goals in 24 matches on their way to their first ever Cyprus First Division title. Omonia won their second title during the 1965–66 season.

Golden era (1970s–1980s)

Sotiris Kaiafas is not only considered one of Omonia's all-time greatest, but the best footballer in the history of Cypriot football.

Omonia won its first trophies of the decade in 1972, when the club won both the league and the cup. Led by a young Sotiris Kaiafas, Omonia won seven league titles in the 1970s, six of them were consecutive (1974–1979).[8] At the end of the decade, Omonia had a total of nine championship titles and three cups. At the end of the 1979 season, Omonia trailed its arch-rival APOEL by two championships. In 1976, Sotiris Kaiafas would go on and win the European Golden Shoe for his single-season 39-goal performance.[9] In 2003, he was awarded the UEFA Jubilee Awards for the Best Cypriot Footballer of the 20th century.

The 1980s was a successful decade for the club as it won an additional seven Cypriot League Championship titles including another five consecutive in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, and in 1987 and in 1989.[8] As the 1980s came to an end, Omonia had won 14 Cypriot championship titles, becoming the most successful team on the island at the time.[8]

General decline (1990s)

The 1990s would prove to be less successful than the previous two decades. During this time, Omonia only mustered one Cypriot League title during the 1992–93 season. It would be eight years before Omonia would see its next title. In 1997, Omonia signed the German Rainer Rauffmann, who would later become the second top goalscorer ever for the club. With the help of other Omonia great and then captain, Costas Malekkos, and a young Costas Kaiafas (the son of Sotiris Kaiafas), Rauffmann would become top scorer of the Cypriot First Division in 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00 and 2000–01 seasons and led Omonia to two titles.[10]

Revival (2000s)

After a disappointing eight seasons, the 2000s decade began with a trophy. Omonia celebrated its 18th Cypriot league championship title in 2001. Now captained by Costas Kaiafas, Omonia would win its 19th Cypriot League Championship again in 2003. Since 2003, however, the team would stumble and be without a title for the next several years. After numerous seasons of poor signings and underachieving, Omonia's reigns would be taken over by new chairman and team president, Miltiadis Neophytou in 2008.

Michalis Konstantinou, mostly credited for helping the team reach its 20th championship title.[11]

The team would soon be put back on track starting in 2006, beginning with the signing of Cyprus international goalkeeper Antonis Georgallides. Omonia would continue its star-studded signings by acquiring Cypriot stars that had been playing abroad, such as Elias Charalambous and Stathis Aloneftis. Omonia would then make headlines with the shocking signing of all-time leading scorer for Cyprus, Michalis Konstantinou. In 2009, Omonia would also sign another Cypriot star, Konstantinos Makrides. En route, Omonia would also acquire young Cypriot hopefuls, 21-year-old Dimitris Christofi and 20-year-old Georgios Efrem. Efrem, who had been playing on the youth team of Arsenal and later Scottish side Rangers, would be the final piece to the puzzle needed to win its 20th Cypriot league championship. After putting the proper pieces in place, Omonia did just that. During the 2009–10 season, led by the new captain, Elias Charalambous, Omonia would not lose a single derby, including play-offs matches against either, APOEL, Anorthosis Famagusta nor Apollon.

Head coach Takis Lemonis left the club after disappointing results and Dušan Bajević became the new coach in October 2010,[12] but was fired in April 2011.[13] He was replaced by Neophytos Larkou. Omonia would not be able to repeat as Champion during the 2010–11 regular season, and instead had to settle with finishing second,[14] despite the addition of yet another young Cypriot rising star, Andreas Avraam. The club, however, was to end on a positive note: under interim coach Neophytos Larkou, Omonia defeated Apollon Limassol in the Cyprus Cup final to win their 13th cup title.[15]

Omonia spent a difficult year but won their 14th cup starring André Alves, who scored the winning goal against AEL Limassol.[16] Under the guidance of newly-appointed director of football Nickolas Danskalou, Omonia finished second in the Championship and third after the playoff rounds, all but assuring they would qualify for the second round of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League.[17]

Financial crisis (2012–2018)

Head coach Neophytos Larkou left the club in September 2012[18] and Toni Savevski was then appointed as coach. The team began the season with a great win but found its second success after several games. A disappointing first round proved enough to exclude the club from contesting for the championship or the cup. The team managed better results in the second round, finishing the season in third place.[19] Thousands of fans answered the president's call to donate as much as they could and the financial issues of the club improved. Omonia's final match ended in a 3–1 victory over AEK Larnaca. Omonia was knocked out in the semi-finals of the cup by AEL Limassol.

In 2013, Omonia began the new season with Savevski as manager, but he was sacked halfway beside positive results. Miguel Ángel Lotina was hired as the replacer[20] but was sacked just 37 days later.[21] Kostas Kaiafas, ex-player was then appointed as the new coach.[22] The club's financial difficulties returned despite the massive fundraiser organized the previous season. Omonia ended fifth in the league,[23] finishing its worst season in 56 years since 1957–58.[8]

In August 2014, Omonia was knocked out of the Europa League playoff stages by Dynamo Moscow. The club issued a complaint to UEFA regarding the refereeing of the match by Alexandru Tudor.[24] In early September, the club stopped supplying the fans' group Gate-9 with tickets resulting in the group's abstention from matches.[25] Two weeks later, after a meeting between the president and the coach, it was decided that tickets were to be supplied again to Gate-9.[26] Omonia finished fourth in the league. The team was eliminated from the Cypriot Cup semi-finals by APOEL.[27]

The team ended the 2015–16 campaign in 4th place.[28] During this season it reached the final of the Cypriot Cup but lost to Apollon Limassol.[29] The 2016–17 season saw the club finish 5th. This meant that for the 1st time in 15 years the club would not be able to play in European qualification matches.[30] Following a general assembly at the end of the season Antonis Tzionis was elected as the new club president.[31] While the 2017–18 campaign began with high expectations Omonia ended the season in 6th place. The season was the worst in the club's history in terms of defeats and goals conceded.[32] Despite this the club sold a total of 95,222 tickets during the season, more than any other team in the league.[33]

Papastavrou era (2018–present)

The decline of the club's football department and the financial difficulties it faced convinced many that a change in the way the club was being run was needed. In May 2018 a general assembly was called and members voted to hand the football department over to Stavros Papastavrou, an American-based Cypriot businessman.[34] Papastavrou plans to invest 5 million euros into the club over the next few years and will invest more over the 20-year period that he will be in charge.[35] He has stated that he will provide funds for the development of the club's academies and training grounds and that the potential creation of a new stadium will be considered.[36]

The club finished the 2018–19 campaign in 6th place and was knocked out of the Cypriot Cup by Apollon Limassol in the second round. Manager Yannis Anastasiou was replaced by Henning Berg in June 2019.[37] The 2019–20 Cypriot season was abandoned in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of its abandonment Omonoia was tied with Anorthosis Famagusta on points, but was ranked first due to a better head to head record and thus qualified for the first qualifying round of the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League season.[38] The club would go on to win their 21st league title the following season to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the second successive season.[39]

Name


"Omonia" is the Greek word for "amity", showing the contrast of the club for discord and disruption.[40]

Colours and badge


Omonia's club colours are green, white and red. Their current alternate kit is red. Omonia's badge has a green shamrock in a white circle. Green colour symbolises hope and white colour 'happiness'[41][40]

Stadium


Omonia's current stadium, New GSP Stadium

Since 23 October 1999, Omonia has been using the 22,859-seat New GSP Stadium, the largest stadium in Cyprus. They share the stadium with local rival APOEL. Omonia played in the Makario Stadium from 1978 until 1999 and in Old GSP Stadium from 1953 to 1978. When the club was first created, it used the Goal Stadium (1948–1953).

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors


Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
1992–1994 Umbro Lois
1994–1998 Diadora KEO
1998–1999 Kappa
1999–2001 Umbro
2001–2004
2004–2007 Lotto LOEL juices
2007–2008 miVision
2008–2010 Ocean Tankers
2010–2012 Adidas CYTAmobile-Vodafone
2012–2016 Nike
2016–2017 Puma Gree
2017–2018 DIMCO
2018–2019 Fonbet
2019–2021 Macron
2021–0000 Stoiximan

Supporters


Omonia supporters are known for their left-leaning, socialist character, expressing Cypriotism with over 80% stating in a survey that they associate themselves with the Progressive Party of Working People. However, its followers recognize their nation which is Greek. They love Cyprus and the Cypriots but they consider that they are Greeks of Cyprus and they are proud of it. In addition, they believe that the Greeks who live in Greece are their brothers and that they are the same since they all have the same mentality, religion and language.[42] Omonia is also traditionally regarded as the club of Cyprus's working-class.[43] Many of Omonia's supporters can be seen waving banners bearing Che Guevara's image.[43] Gate-9, the team's ultras group, was established in 1992.[44] The group occupies the North stand at the GSP stadium during home games.[43] Gate 9 has established relations with other left wing supporters such as those of Hapoel Tel Aviv and Standard Liège.[45]

Omonia holds the record for the most league tickets sold by a Cypriot team in a single season (162,061 during the 2009–10 campaign). The club also holds the Cypriot record for the highest average attendance in a season (11,003 during the 2003–04 campaign).[46]

Financial crisis and 2013 Pan-Cypriot fundraiser

By the end of February 2013, Omonia was struggling to meet the UEFA criteria due to the economic crisis that had engulfed the club. The club's president then decided to start a fundraiser and called for the supporters of the club to donate as much as they could. Hundreds of events were organised island wide with the motto; "ΕΙΜΑΙ ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ ΔΗΛΩΝΩ ΠΑΡΩΝ" meaning, "I'M WITH OMONIA, I DECLARE MYSELF PRESENT. "[47] Current and former players contributed by signing autographs and selling club merchandise. Although the situation at the beginning was described as grim, money poured in from all over the island and from abroad including England and the United States. In about a month-and-a-half, €3.5 million was collected from the club's supporters.[citation needed]

Honours


Winners (21): 1960–61, 1965–66, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1992–93, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2009–10, 2020–21
Winners (14): 1964–65, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1987–88, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1999–2000, 2004–05, 2010–11, 2011–12
Winners (17) (record): 1966, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2021
Winners (4) (record): 1948–49, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52
Winners (5) (record): 1948–49, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1952–53

Omonia in European competitions


UEFA Club ranking

RankCountryTeamPoints
205Lyngby BK5.575
206Omonoia FC5.550
207Anorthosis Famagusta FC5.550
208AEL Limassol FC5.550
209Riga FC5.500
210FC Progrès Niederkorn5.500
211FC Vaduz5.500

Last update: 15 May 2020
Source: uefa.com

Competition Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against
UEFA Champions League 48 15 6 27 61 106
UEFA Europa League 72 30 18 24 114 88
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 12 2 1 9 7 23
Total 132 47 25 60 182 217

European Cup / UEFA Champions League

European Cup / UEFA Champions League
Season Round Rival Home Away Agg.
1966–67 First round 1860 Munich 1–2 0–8 1–10
1972–73 First round Waterford United 2–0 1–2 3–2
Second round Bayern Munich 0-4 0-9 0–13
1974–75 First round Cork Celtic (w/o)
1975–76 First round IA Akranes 2–1 0–4 2–5
1976–77 First round PAOK 0–2 1–1 1–3
1977–78 First round Juventus 0–3 0–2 0–5
1978–79 First round Bohemians 2–1 0–1 2–2 (a)
1979–80 First round Red Boys Differdange 6–1 2–1 7–3
Second round Ajax 4–0 0–10 4–10
1981–82 First round Benfica 0–1 0–3 0–4
1982–83 First round HJK Helsinki 2–0 0–3 2–3
1983–84 First round CSKA Sofia 4–1 0–3 4–4 (a)
1984–85 First round Dinamo București 2–1 1–4 3–5
1985–86 First round Rabat Ajax 5–0 5–0 10–0
Second round Anderlecht 1–3 0–1 1–4
1987–88 First round Shamrock Rovers 0–0 1–0 1–0
Second round Steaua București 0–2 1–3 1–5
1989–90 First round Swarovski Tirol 2–3 0–6 2–9
1993–94 Preliminary Round Aarau 2–1 0–2 2–3
2001–02 Second Qualifying Round Red Star Belgrade 1–1 1–2 2–3
2003–04 First Qualifying Round Irtysh 0–0 2–1 2–1
Second Qualifying Round Wisła Kraków 2–2 2–5 4–7
2010–11 Second Qualifying Round Renova 3–0 2–0 5–0
Third Qualifying Round Red Bull Salzburg 1–1 1–4 2–5
2020–21 First Qualifying Round Ararat-Armenia N/A 1–0 (aet) N/A
Second Qualifying Round Legia Warsaw N/A 2–0 (aet) N/A
Third Qualifying Round Red Star Belgrade 1–1 (4–2 p) N/A N/A
Play-off Round Olympiacos 0–0 0–2 0–2
2021–22 Second Qualifying Round Dinamo Zagreb 0–1 0–2 0−3

UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League

UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League
Season Round Rival Home Away Agg.
1986–87 First round Sportul Studențesc 1–1 0–1 1–2
1990–91 First round Slavia Sofia 4–2 1–2 5–4
Second round Anderlecht 1–1 0–3 1–4
1995–96 Preliminary Round Sliema Wanderers 3–0 2–1 5–1
First round Lazio 1–2 0–5 1–7
1998–99 First Qualifying Round Linfield 5–1 3–5 8–6
Second Qualifying Round Rapid Wien 3–1 0–2 3–3 (a)
1999–00 Qualifying Round Belshina Bobruisk 3–0 5–1 8–1
First round Juventus 2–5 0–5 2–10
2000–01 Qualifying Round Naftex Burgas 0–0 1–2 1–2
2004–05 First Qualifying Round Sloga Jugomagnat 4–0 4–1 8–1
Second Qualifying Round CSKA Sofia 1–1 1–3 2–4
2005–06 First Qualifying Round Hibernians 3–0 3–0 6–0
Second Qualifying Round Dinamo București 2–1 1–3 3–4
2006–07 First Qualifying Round Rijeka 2–1 2–2 4–3
Second Qualifying Round Litex Lovech 0–0 1–2 1–2
2007–08 First Qualifying Round Rudar Pljevlja 2–0 2–0 4–0
Second Qualifying Round CSKA Sofia 1–1 1–2 2–3
2008–09 First Qualifying Round Milano 2–0 2–1 4–1
Second Qualifying Round AEK Athens 2–2 1–0 3–2
First round Manchester City 1–2 1–2 2–4
2009–10 Second Qualifying Round HB 4–0 4–1 8–1
Third Qualifying Round Vaslui 1–1 0–2 1–3
2010–11 Play-off Round Metalist Kharkiv 0–1 2–2 2–3
2011–12 Third Qualifying Round ADO Den Haag 3–0 0–1 3–1
Play-off Round Red Bull Salzburg 2–1 0–1 2–2 (a)
2012–13 Third Qualifying Round Red Star Belgrade 0–0 0–0 0–0 (5–6 p)
2013–14 Second Qualifying Round Astra Giurgiu 1–2 1–1 2–3
2014–15 Second Qualifying Round Budućnost Podgorica 0–0 2–0 2–0
Third Qualifying Round Metalurg Skopje 3–0 1–0 4–0
Play-off Round Dynamo Moscow 1–2 2–2 3–4
2015–16 First Qualifying Round Dinamo Batumi 2–0 0–1 2–1
Second Qualifying Round Jagiellonia Białystok 1–0 0–0 1–0
Third Qualifying Round Brøndby 2–2 0–0 2–2 (a)
2016–17 First Qualifying Round Banants 4–1 1–0 5–1
Second Qualifying Round Beitar Jerusalem 3–2 0–1 3–3 (a)
2020–21 Group E PSV Eindhoven 1–2 0–4 4th
PAOK 2–1 1–1
Granada 0–2 1–2
2021–22 Third Qualifying Round Flora

Players


Current squad

As of 04 June 2021[48]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK  CYP Constantinos Panagi
2 DF  CYP Paris Psaltis
4 MF  NGA Shehu Abdullahi
5 DF  POR Kiko
6 DF  ESP Hector Yuste
8 FW  NGA Iyayi Atiemwen (on loan from Dinamo Zagreb)
11 MF  FRA Éric Bauthéac
13 FW  CYP Fotios Papoulis
15 DF  SVK Tomáš Hubočan
16 MF  ESP Jordi Gómez (captain)
17 DF  CZE Jan Lecjaks
18 FW  SVK Michal Ďuriš
21 MF  CYP Marinos Tzionis
22 DF  HUN Ádám Lang
No. Pos. Nation Player
30 DF  CYP Nikolas Panayiotou
31 MF  CYP Ioannis Kousoulos (vice captain)
40 GK  BRA Fabiano
42 MF  USA Mix Diskerud
44 FW  SRB Marko Šćepović
74 GK  POL Kacper Chorazka
75 FW  CYP Loizos Loizou
76 MF  CYP Charalambos Charalambous
78 MF  CYP Konstantinos Venizelou
79 MF  CYP Andreas Savva
80 FW  CYP Andronikos Kakoullis
88 FW  GHA Ernest Asante
98 GK  CYP Charalambos Kyriakides

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player

Former players

For details of former players, see Category:AC Omonia players

Retired number

12 The club supporters (the 12th man)

Staff


Management

Directors
Sports Director Neophytos Larkou
Academies Director Vasilis Mittas

Source: omonoiafc.com.cy

Technical staff

Coaching staff
Head coach Henning Berg
Assistant coach Kaz Sokołowski
Head of performance Efthymios Kyprianou
Physical fitness coach Giannis Georgallis
Goalkeeping coach Andreas Lougrides
Sports Scientist Christos Emmanouil
Performance Analyst Kyriakos Panagiotou
Head of Scouting Simos Tarapoulouzis
Scouter Rainer Rauffmann

Source: omonoiafc.com.cy

Medical staff

Medical staff
Doctor Giannakis Vasiliou
Research Associate Dr George Panagiotou
Chiropractor Giorgos Oxinos
Physiotherapists Constandinos Kapparis
Nikolas Ch
Masseur Stelios Petrou
Nicolai Temelkov
Caregiver Michalis Pitsilidis
Giorgos Karagiannis

Source: omonoia.com.cy

Management


AC Omonoia

Position Name
President Marios Argyrides
Vice President A' Matheos Papapetrou
Vice President B' Antonis Zymaras
General Secretary Pavlos Nicolaides
General Secretary B' Kiki Hadjisergi
Head of Finance Sokratis Efstratiou
Member Gianna Argyrou
Costas Vasileiou
Emilios Ioannou
Christodoulos Kountouris
Koullis Poyiadjis
Polys Poumpouris
Nikolas Philotheou
Koullis Hadjigavriel
Christos Lambrou
Source:

Omonoia FC

Position Name
President Stavros Papastavrou
Vice President Demetris Grigori
Member Marios Argyrides
Nikolas Georgiades
Loris Kyriakou
Neophytos Larkou
Demetris Nikolaou
Michalis Papapetrou
Nikos Charalampides

Managerial history


Source: trifylli.net

Presidential history


Here is the list of the previous presidents of Omonia:[49]

Name From To Honours
Takis Nikolaidis 1948 1974 4 Cypriot Championship, 3 Cypriot Cup, 1 Cypriot Super Cup, 4 CAFF Championship, 5 CAFF Cup
Kostas Limpouris 1974 1981 6 Cypriot Championship, 2 Cypriot Cup, 2 Cypriot Super Cup
Kostakis Konstantinides 1981 1989 6 Cypriot Championship, 3 Cypriot Cup, 5 Cypriot Super Cup
Panikos Neophytou 1989 1996 1 Cypriot Championship, 2 Cypriot Cup, 3 Cypriot Super Cup
Lakis Polykarpou 1996 2000 1 Cypriot Cup
Doros Seraphim 2000 2008 2 Cypriot Championship, 1 Cypriot Cup, 3 Cypriot Super Cup
Miltiades Neophytou 2008 2012 1 Cypriot Championship, 2 Cypriot Cup, 1 Cypriot Super Cup
Stelios Milonas 2012 2014 1 Cypriot Super Cup
Doros Seraphim 2014 2016
Antonis Tzionis 2016 2018
Loris Kyriakou 2018 2020
Marios Argyrides 2020 Present 1 Cypriot Championship, 1 Cypriot Super Cup

References


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  22. "gol-futbol.com". www.gol-futbol.com.
  23. "Βαθμολογία – Παγκύπριο Πρωτάθλημα "Γλαύκος Κληρίδης" 13/14 – Β' Φάση – Α' ΟΜΙΛΟΣ". www.cfa.com.cy. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
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