Apollon Limassol boss Sofronis Avgousti will be conspicuously absent from his team’s dugout on Thursday when they take on Aberdeen in the Europa League at AEK Arena in Larnaca on Thursday.
Avgousti was sent to the stands by Finnish referee Mattias Gestranius in the Dons’ second round 2-1 first leg win at Pittodrie after racing on to the pitch to celebrate Apollon’s goal to make it 1-1.
Dons manager Derek McInnes insisted he had no problem with Avgousti despite his over-exuberant goal celebration, however, Gestranius highlighted the incident in his official match report stating that Avgusti “celebrated in a provocative manner right in front of the home team’s technical area and then went back on to the pitch”.
Avgousti insisted he went on to the Pittodrie pitch to give instructions to his team.
UEFA have confirmed Avgousti is banned from sitting in the dug-out at the AEK Arena in Larnaca for the second leg where the game has been moved from Apollon’s Tsirion Stadium in Limassol to Larnaca because their ground is not suitable.
Aberdeen has already sold out their allocation of tickets for the return tie in Cyprus while Apollon fans, despite playing ‘away’ have already snapped up all the available tickets to make it a 7,400 sell-out.
Apollon who will also be missing star midfielder Estaban Sachetti after being sent off in the second half in Aberdeen following a second yellow card has appealed on its fans to ‘turn the stadium into a furnace’.
“In Scotland, Aberdeen fans helped them, now it’s our turn. We want you, the fans, to get there early and provide an extremely hot atmosphere that will become our extra man.
Winners of the Cyprus national Cup for the last two seasons, Apollon are undefeated at home for the last three years in European competition.
Apollon’s last defeat in Cyprus in the group stages of the Europa League was during the 2014-15 season when they lost 2-0 to German side Borussia Monchengladbach.
“With a full stadium in Larnaca, our fans will give their support and push on the team. With their help we can hopefully qualify for the next round,” said Avgusti
With the temperatures set to hit 32° Celsius despite the 8 pm kick-off local time, Apollon is ready to turn up the heat even further on the Reds in a bid to overturn the tie.