Football club prepared to give up site next to Maarjamäe memorial

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Levadia Football Club is prepared to scrap plans to build a football hall near the victims of communism memorial at Maarjamäe in Tallinn - but only if a suitable space at Pirita or Lasnamäe can be found as well as €800,000 of state support.

"We have come to the conclusion that the most reasonable solution to the current tense situation would be to build a football hall on another suitable property in the Pirita or Lasnamäe area," said Sergei Hohlov-Simson, member of the board of FC Levadia sports club.

Hohlov-Simson, who played 58 games for the Estonian national team, said the club does not want to confront the Memorial to the Victims of Communism.

He said children training at the club suffer the most from the protracted dispute as it is hard to predict when the hall will be built and young SK FC Levadia players will have to train in winter conditions.

The club submitted a compromise proposal to the state to change the location of the football hall with three conditions.

Firstly, only the administrative building will be constructed at Maarjamäe football center (Tuulenurga 1) - not the football hall.

Secondly, in cooperation with the City of Tallinn, the state will propose an alternative site for the construction of a full-size football hall in Pirita or Lasnamäe.

Thirdly, the state will pay Levadia €800 000 in compensation for the construction of the administrative building. Hohlov-Samson said the compensation is necessary due to the management of two construction sites, the construction of a larger football hall than originally planned, as well as the significant increase in construction prices in recent years.

"We will soon reach a comprehensive solution that satisfies all parties," Levadia wrote in a letter to the Minister of Justice Maris Lauri (Reform) and the Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center).

Government ready to discuss offer

On Thursday, the government said it is ready to discuss how to respond to Levadia FC's proposal.

Minister of Justice Maris Lauri (Reform) and the Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) told ERR that they want to resolve the situation but more details are needed.

Lauri said, firstly, the proposal must reach the government's agenda and then the sum of money requested will be discussed.

"It is in the government's interest that the hall does not come to this place," Lauri said, adding she understands that there is a need for a place to play football indoors.

Aab said the state budget will be discussed in September and then it will be clarified whether the government is ready to allocate the requested money.

 

Editor's note: This article was updated to add comments from Minister of Justice Maris Lauri and the Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab were added to this article.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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