By Constantinos Psillides
The Limassol District Court decided on Wednesday to impose a three-game ban on the 41 APOEL fans arrested in connection with violence during the APOEL-AEL football match in Limassol on Sunday.
According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), this was the largest group of football fans ever to be barred from entering the pitch.
Police spokesman Ioannis Soteriades told CNA the ban could be prolonged if need be.
Included within the 41 are nine APOEL fans remanded for three days in custody on Monday on suspicion of disturbance of peace, arson, assault and battery against officers, carrying dangerous objects and drug possession.
The youngest fan arrested was 16 while the oldest was 32.
According to police reports, at half time, APOEL fans set fire to stadium seats, a fire escape exit and a canteen warehouse causing extensive damage. They also hurled objects at officers, injuring four.
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides had said that some 100 APOEL fans were hosed down by a fire engine as they tried to prevent firefighters from putting out the blaze. They formed a human chain around the fire and hurled seats, flares, smoke bombs, stones, and ceramic tiles and toilet bowls they had taken from the stadium.
The 41 were arrested after the end of the game that ended 2-1 to AEL, when police brought all six buses that were to transport the 150 APOEL fans back to Nicosia into the stadium and searched every person one by one.
In the buses, an expendable baton, a folding knife, several flares, a bag containing what is believed to be cannabis, a three-metre chain and a slingshot were found, police said.