By Andreas Vou
THE Cyprus police have issued a long list of guidelines for APOEL fans to abide by during their visit to Amsterdam on Wednesday.
APOEL take on Ajax on Matchday Six of the UEFA Champions League in what is a must-win game for the Cypriot champions in order to finish third in the group and thus progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League.
APOEL fans are some of the most vocal in the competition and travel in their thousands to watch their side in European competition.
The list of 27 specific instructions issued by the police is an attempt to curb any behaviour which could land them in trouble with the Dutch authorities.
Other than standard advice, such as which metro line is needed from the city centre to reach the Amsterdam Arena, or from which gate they must enter the stadium, some are slightly more elaborate.
On their away travels over the years, APOEL fans are known to flood the main square of the host city and go through a chorus of chants but, this time, have been advised to stay clear of one of Amsterdam’s main plazas to avoid confrontation with rival supporters.
“In the centre of Amsterdam, in the Rembrandtplein square and especially in the pubs Monico, Hof van Holland and the nearby pubs, the hooligans of Ajax gather hours before the game and consume alchohol. For their own safety, APOEL fans are strictly advised to avoid visiting the aforementioned square.”
APOEL fans are also advised not to take banners into the stadium which are bigger than 2 x 1 ½ metres, possibly due to a recent banner at the GSP Stadium which was met with a large fine from UEFA due to its political content.
Other rules include the prohibition of microphones, drums, whistles, lasers and even rucksacks into the stadium while fans are also warned about purchasing tickets from the black market as the majority are counterfeit.
Flares are commonly used by Cypriot fans both at home and abroad but police warn that the Dutch authorities are strict about the use of such pyrotechnics.
Dutch law demands the immediate arrest and issue of a fine for the use of flares and firecrackers and, therefore, fans have been strictly warned against their use.
However, the most curious of all is the last on the list, where the police state that “gloves and hoodies are not allowed in the stadium or in the city.”