Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Footballers charged over disrupted match (updated)

By Angelos Anastasiou

Three Apollon players and one of the football club’s coaches were questioned and formally charged in connection with the violence that erupted prior to the start of Sunday’s fixture against Anorthosis Famagusta at Limassol’s Tsirio stadium, Limassol CID chief Ioannis Soteriades said on Tuesday.

The Limassol district court did, however, issue an arrest warrant against a 26-year-old Anorthosis fan, who was captured acting violently by the stadium’s CCTV, and was placed under arrest late on Tuesday afternoon.

“The court reviewed the bulk of evidence presented to it and, following certain observations, rejected four of the warrant requests and approved only the warrant against the Anorthosis fan,” Soteriades said.

In written statements, the four Apollon staff denied any involvement in the offences they were accused of, which include disturbing the peace, fighting and assault at a sporting event, and throwing dangerous objects at a sporting event.

The Anorthosis fan faces an additional charge of illegally entering a sporting venue.

“Investigation will be completed as soon as possible, and the suspects will be brought before justice,” Soteriades added.

He noted that review of CCTV recordings continues in a bid to identify and arrest all the fans who were involved in the violence.

“The violence that took place at Tsirio was large-scale, and we have a duty to investigate the case all the way in order to identify all the individuals who were involved in the disturbance,” the Limassol CID chief said.

Prior to the Apollon-Anorthosis fixture, the home team’s players got into a prolonged scuffle with the away team’s fans, some of whom left the stands and entered the pitch to beat up Apollon’s players, and CCTV captured both sides indiscriminately hurling objects at the other.

The events prompted the referee to call off the fixture, the fate of which now rests with the football federation’s disciplinary organs.

Meanwhile, police have released the pictures of 15 individuals thought to be involved in Sunday’s violence, and asked that anyone with information on their whereabouts contact Limassol CID on 25 805057, or their nearest police station. Alternatively, information can be given to the citizens’ hotline 1460.

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