Cyprus Mail

Controversial fan card expected next year

File photo

A controversial sports fan card was expected to be gradually rolled out at the beginning of next year, a senior official said on Tuesday, due to delays caused by an appeal filed by one of the companies that took part in the competition for its creation.

Kleanthis Georgiades, the chairman of the island’s sports organisation (KOA), said the competition had been cancelled by the tenders review authority following an appeal.

However, a new company was expected to be selected by next week at the latest, he told the Cyprus News Agency.

“From then on we’ll proceed with the implementation of the project,” he said. Because of the delay the card was not expected to be rolled out before the start of 2017.

The controversial idea of an identity card for sports fans, voted in 2014 as part of a bill to fight hooliganism, 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However, that decision was rescinded following strong protests by opposition parties, mainly AKEL, which cited privacy concerns.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.

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