The tenders process over the administration of the controversial ‘football fan card’, won by Greek consortium Space Hellas-HTE, was cancelled and will have to be re-invited, after an appeal against one of the consortium’s key experts, filed by rival bidder Logicom Solutions Ltd, was accepted by the Tenders Review Board.
The appeal, filed last March, argued that the Greek consortium’s proposal, which had been accepted by the Cyprus Sports Organisation over that of Logicom two days earlier, included Panayiotis Panayiotou as a “key expert”, namely for the role of Project Manager.
However, Logicom’s lawyers said, Panayiotou’s academic credentials did not meet the minimum required – a university degree – in the tender’s terms. Panayiotou, it turned out, has a ‘Diploma in Computer Science’ from the Higher Technical Institute, which he acquired in 1997, as well as an ‘MBA – Finance & Banking’ from the CIIM.
Neither of these constitute a university degree, the board ruled, since the legislation that equates an HTI diploma with a university degree “does not confer on its holder the rights and benefits of a university degree holder”, nor does holding an MBA render him a degree holder, because holding a post-graduate degree of studies “cannot confer on its holder any other title other than what the degree itself designates”.
Considering the fact that all members of the project team that are assigned a significant role in executing the contract are classed as ‘key experts’, the board added, the requirement relating to holding a university degree was deemed “critical”, thus guiding the decision to cancel the decision to award the contract.
The board’s decision likely means that the fan card, a government measure aimed at tackling hooliganism, will likely not have been introduced when the next football season commences.
The controversial idea of an identity card for sports fans, voted in 2014 as part of an anti-hooligan bill, is opposed by the organised supporters of all major football clubs.
The task of issuing the card was given to the Cyprus sports organisation, which in turn asked the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) to take it over because it lacked the funds.
However, that decision was rescinded following strong protests by opposition parties, mainly AKEL, which cited privacy concerns.
AKEL had expressed concerns that the personal data sports fans had to submit to get a card would be used by police to keep tabs on them.