Football Stadium in Tskneti Demolished: What Will Local Kakhi Kaladze Do?



The elections are coming on fast. But the Georgian Dream candidate does not seem to care ever so much if he wins the Tskneti vote or not.

Tskneti is a forested village above the capital city, belonging to Tbilisi municipality, popular as a health resort, though with many permanent residents.

The only stadium serving the central area was recently demolished to make way for the construction of apartment blocks and, in spite of numerous signatures collected and protest rallies organized by locals, there has been no reaction from the government, or even from Kakhi Kaladze, the candidate for the post of Tbilisi Mayor, who lives in central Tskneti himself.

“The whole of our district is highly concerned about it,” says I. K, an IDP from Abkhazia who has lived in central Tskneti for the past 24 years. “We’ve held a lot of rallies within the last year, but in vain. There was no reaction at all from the party of the city government. What we long for right now is to save the basketball stadium located near it, on Abkhazia Street, and the surrounding forest. My children have played football and basketball in these two stadiums since their early childhood. Not only the district but the whole central Tskneti is worried,” he said.

Reportedly, when IDPs came to central Tskneti 25 years ago, even shocked and paralyzed as they were, with hardly any ability for rational thought after the Abkhazian war, and desperate to find shelter, they still chose not to take over the administrative building of the stadium in order to save it for their children. However, one imperfect day, it was viciously sold by the government to a Georgian Parliamentarian, who enclosed it and the neighboring forest. According to an official source, the former football stadium belongs to the family of late tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili.

Will Kakhi Kaladze, former football player of FC Milan, save at least the Tskneti basketball stadium and open a new football stadium for the sake of his three sons and the others of the future generations of Tskneti? He will have to, if he does not want to lose a significant number of votes. After all, what guarantee does Tbilisi have that he will not do the same there, despite his promise to “make Tbilisi greener”. Must the votes decide?

Maka Lomadze

04 September 2017 16:57