Cyprus Mail

Sports organisation will take over fan card

Football hooligan armed with a flare (CM archives)

The island’s sports organisation (CSO) will take over the fan card project but was faced with a lack of funds and a short deadline, its head said on Tuesday.

“We are determined to do everything possible to implement the law the soonest,” Klea Papaellina said in parliament.

The fan card, an identity card aiming at lifting anonymity of sports fans, was voted in August as a part of an anti-hooligan bill proposed by the government. The deadline set for the card to come into effect is January 1, 2015.

The task of issuing the card was given to the CSO, which in turn asked the football association (CFA) to take over because it lacked the funds.

However, that decision was rescinded following strong protests by opposition parties, mainly AKEL, citing privacy concerns.

Papaellina said an extension would be requested and a more realistic timeframe drafted.

AKEL MP Irini Charalambidou suggested that the justice minister intervened so that the task went to the CFA.

Charalambidou said that after the CFA refused to take over the project, all the problems preventing the sports organisation from issuing the card have been overcome.

AKEL MPs made clear that they voted on the bill on the condition that CSO handled the project.

AKEL had expressed concerns that the personal data sports fans had to submit to get a card would be used by police to keep tabs on them.

They argued that since the CFA was not a government body it was therefore outside of the auditor-general’s scrutiny.

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