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Rangers fans in Cyprus know their club are in a beleaguered situation for the UEFA Europa League Group C contest against Aris Limassol on the back of significant upheaval at Ibrox in recent days.
Following the shambolic 3-1 loss to Aberdeen on Saturday, manager Michael Beale was dismissed with his position untenable and now club stalwart, Steven Davis will lead the Gers in Cyprus, assisted by Alex Rae.
There is plenty of interest and intrigue around this game, primarily to see if Davis can inspire a reaction from a depleted squad who have underwhelmed so far this season. The first away game of the group stage also represents a realistic chance for Rangers to maintain a 100% record in the UEFA Europa League, in contrast to the stuttering Scottish Premiership campaign to date.
The club have commenced the process of hiring a new permanent manager but for now, the next immediate test comes on the pitch against Aris Limassol.
How many Rangers fans in Cyprus?
With an official allocation of around 545, there will not be a mass exodus of Rangers supporters to Cyprus, from Scotland, elsewhere in the UK and beyond. In addition to the relatively small allocation, the cost of getting to this fixture – and a five-hour flight – will prove prohibitive for many but that will work in favour of those who have travelled.
Everyone who wants a ticket is likely to get one, especially as the hosts do not regularly play in front of a full crowd at the 11,000 capacity, Alphamega Stadium, also known as Limassol Arena.
This game is Rangers' first in Cyrus since Alex McLeish’s side played a UEFA Champions League qualifier in the summer of 2005 against Anorthosis Famagusta.
A holiday feel under the Cypriot sun should be prevalent for the fans in attendance but recent clouds over Ibrox will cast a shadow on any feel-good factor.
𝐔𝐄𝐅𝐀 𝐄𝐔𝐑𝐎𝐏𝐀 𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐆𝐔𝐄 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐅𝐈𝐑𝐒𝐓 𝐓𝐈𝐌𝐄 𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐑 𝐈𝐍 𝐋𝐈𝐌𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐎𝐋 🔜
— Aris Limassol FC (@ArisLimassol) October 4, 2023
Where do the Rangers fans stand in the Limassol Stadium?
In this new purpose-built stadium on the outskirts of Limassol, Rangers fans will occupy the away section in the north end of the ground, whilst, in line with UEFA regulations, a further smaller executive allocation of ‘premium seating’ in the west stand has been provided.
Full fans’ matchday guide for Aris Limassol v Rangers
The fans will mostly congregate in and around central Limassol on matchday but the logistics for this trip are a bit different, with some Rangers fans staying in places such as Paphos, Larnaca and even Ayia Napa.
Transport to and from the stadium needs to be organised, especially post-match, but the vast majority of Rangers away travellers are well-seasoned in terms of what is required on these trips.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) October 3, 2023
Where to eat & drink for Rangers fans in Limassol
The Marina area in Limassol has been advised as a good area for food and drink, whilst one recommendation I was given was a tip for the Meze Taverna with its location at Agiou Andreou.
Over in Ayia Napa, Craig’s Bar has advertised a ‘three-day bender’ in and around the game for those so inclined.
Ticket collection info for Rangers fans in Limassol
Rangers issued the e-tickets to supporters via an email link last week, so there will be no ticket collection on matchday. At the time of writing, no further away ticket sales are scheduled or anticipated.
How to get to the Alphamega Stadium: Guide for Rangers fans in Limassol
Given the location of the stadium outside the city and its sparse vicinity, there is no regular transport service to and from the ground. Taxis will be available but demand will almost certainly exceed supply.
Rangers FC has been looking into contingency for bus services with a late update to be provided whilst some supporters have made their own arrangements.