Cyprus Mail

Fan card violates rights of majority, says data commissioner

The football fan ID cards were introduced to curb football violence

By George Psyllides

AN identity card that aims to tackle sports-related violence contravened the principle of proportionality because it was imposed on all fans when the trouble was in fact caused by a small group, personal data commissioner Yiannos Danielides said on Wednesday.

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.

But Danielides said it violated the principle of proportionality since the trouble was caused by a small group of 50 to 100 people and not the vast majority of fans.

The commissioner said his office had not been consulted by parliament, nor the justice ministry, when drafting the bill. But Justice minister Ionas Nicoalou rejected the allegation on Wednesday that the ministry had not consulted the commissioner’s office.

Danielides proposed restricting the fan card to people between 15 and 30 years of age – a group which included most of the troublemakers, he said, adding that there was no issue of discrimination.

The fan card is fiercely opposed by organised fans, ostensibly because it provides authorities with the means to keep tabs on them.

The measure is meant to come into effect on January 1, 2015, but it is highly unlikely as the national sports organisation, tasked with implementation, does not have the resources to do it right now.

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