The stadium is ours

An ongoing debate has flared up over who controls the newly constructed Algarve Stadium and who, therefore, is hosting the Euro 2004 tournament in the region. Arguments between the concelhos of Faro and Loulé over its location and, therefore, its ‘owner’ are constant. The President of the Almancil Freguesia, João Martins, complained: “The Algarve Stadium is located in the freguesia of Almancil and we are the hosts of the Euro 2004 in this region”, claiming that a topographical survey, carried out by Loulé Câmara technicians, proves his point.

Martins says he doesn’t want any ‘conflicts’, but doesn’t understand the different references to the location of the stadium. He considers that the area surrounding the stadium, known as the Parque das Cidades, is ‘only a small slice of land to the north’, which belongs to the freguesia of Santa Bárbara de Nexe, in the Faro concelho.

José Vitorino, President of Faro Câmara, offers a different interpretation: “There is an undefined area on the border of both concelhos, a sort of ‘no man’s land’,” he explained: “We will have to solve this problem in the future.” Meanwhile, the President of the Loulé Câmara, Sérgio Emídio, says that the solution to this problem is “not a priority”, pointing out that it didn’t obstruct the actual construction of the stadium, which was a joint project. “The moment will come where we will calmly find the best solution,” he said. For the moment, the stadium is being described as built on lands belonging to both Loulé and Faro, as well as occupying an undefined area.