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Strumica to host the 2017 Macedonian Cup final

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The Mladost stadium during a 3.MFL East game; photo: strumicacity.comThe Mladost stadium during a 3.MFL East game; photo: strumicacity.comFFM decided that the host city for the upcoming Macedonian Cup final will be Strumica with its newly renovated Mladost stadium.

For the second time in the Macedonian Cup history Strumica will host the grand final. It wasn't planned the final game to be played anywhere else but at the National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje, however due to the UEFA Super Cup scheduled for August 8 UEFA suggested less games to be played at out biggest stadium since the pitch is in very bad condition.

Becides Strimica, Shtip also wanted the Cup final but FFM decided that the Mladost stadium has much better conditions to offer then the Gradski in Shtip. With a capacity of 5.000, Mladost was recently renovated and it is still not finished as planned, but it is good enough for the Cup final. It is the home stadium of FK Belasica and FK Tiverija, both currently in the 3.MFL East.

The two teams that will fight for the trophy are Shkendija and Pelister. Previously, Strumica hosted the final back in 2002 when Pobeda won it's first trophy after defeating Cementarnica 55 with 3:1. The Pobeda in question is the one currently suspended by FIFA for match fixing, not the one that is playing in the first league which was formed in 2010.

Another view of the Mladost stadium; photo: FK BelasicaAnother view of the Mladost stadium; photo: FK Belasica

It will be only the 6th Cup final played somewhere else but in Skopje's Philip II Arena. Besides Strumica in 2002, it was Kavadarci in 1997, Prilep in 2000 and 2011 and Shtip in 2012 that had the honor to host this big event.

The Cup final is scheduled for May 17 with a kick-off at 17.30 CET. Both teams will be allowed to bring their fans although both ultras groups are notorious for their nationalistic and nazi behaviour and hooliganism.

Interesting fact is that Pelister and Shkendija already played a very important match at this venue. It was the promotion/relegation play-off in 2008/09 which saw Pelister winning 3:0 and thus managed to stay in the top flight preventing Shkendija to win promotion.

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