The Karaiskaki stadium – not the official Olympic stadium – will host the final of the 2004 Games’ soccer tournament.

An inspection delegation from world football’s governing body, FIFA, confirmed the Athens Olympics’ organisers proposal.

But the president of the FIFA delegation, African confederation leader Issa Hayatou, warned: “It will take a lot of work to bring the stadium up to standard.”

The Karaiskaki stadium in the home of champions Olympiakos in the nearby port of Piraeus.

However, it is inevitable that FIFA will be accused of acceding to the down-grading of Olympic soccer by refusing to insist that the final should be staged in the Olympic stadium itself.

All the biggest Greek national team and club matches are staged in theOlympic stadium.
By Keir Radnedge