Cyprus Mail

Minister determined to proceed with fan card

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou

By George Psyllides

THE government is determined to see the fan card through, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou declared on Wednesday, saying it was the previous administration’s decision but main opposition AKEL is now opposing it.

Nicolaou said the reactions had been expected.

“The party voted against the fan card, despite the fact, and I want to emphasise this, that the card had been one of the decisions of the (Demetris) Christofias administration,” Nicolaou said.

The fan card was one of the measures they proposed to fight hooliganism, he added, “let them say what has changed.”

The fan card, an identity card aimed at lifting anonymity of sports fans, was voted in August as a part of a bill proposed by the government to clamp down on hooliganism.

AKEL opposes the scheme most probably because it is opposed by the organised fans of Nicosia side Omonia, whose supporters – the majority at least — are affiliated with the party.

The card is, however, opposed by the organised fans of all major football clubs who show their disapproval by boycotting league fixtures.

“We are determined to go ahead with these measures, as well as others,” Nicolaou said, wondering why some sides were worried.

“The people who are worried are those who want to maintain their anonymity for their own reasons.”

The measure is meant to come into effect on January 1, 2015, but it is highly unlikely as the sports organisation, tasked with carrying out the project, has said it does not have the funds to do it right now.

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