Cyprus Mail

Drugs discovered, four arrested at Apoel fan clubhouse

File photo The Apoel main clubhouse at the entrance of Nicosia

Four people were arrested after drugs were found at an Apoel fan clubhouse in Nicosia on Wednesday night, police said.

“Between the hours of 7.40pm and 9.40pm, members of the police, after securing a judicial warrant, carried out a search at premises frequented by fans of Apoel in Nicosia,” a statement said. The raid was carried out at a fan club on Strovolos Avenue, near the town hall.

“During the search, traces of cannabis were discovered in an upper level area, along with a shoulder bag with two cylindrical containers containing drugs, and an amount of cannabis weighing 55grammes.”

Police, again after securing judicial warrants, arrested and detained two 23-year-olds and two others aged 32 and 22.

Other offences related to the law on alcoholic beverages were also recorded.

The drug squad are continuing investigations.

It followed trouble on Monday night as Apoel fans celebrated 90 years since the team’s founding in 1926.

Traffic police were called in at around 11.45pm to close the roads leading to the area and divert traffic around the team’s main clubhouse, near the Hilton hotel, which was engulfed in smoke from firecrackers.

Police in riot gear arrived on the scene and fought pitched battles with some of the estimated 250 fans throwing bangers and any other objects they could get their hands on, at the police.

The traffic lights outisde Apoel's clubhouse have yet to be repaired
The traffic lights outside Apoel’s clubhouse have yet to be repaired

Traffic lights were destroyed while the tavern adjacent to the clubhouse was looted.

This was not the first time Apoel fans cause trouble in the streets outside their clubhouse. There have been numerous reports in past months of Apoel fans attacking cars with Turkish Cypriot registration plates.

In the wake of the incident, sports federation chairman Kleanthis Georgiades spoke about political interventions to free troublemakers. What Georgiades said, was something that is known to have happened many times over the years, irrespective of the team the fans supported.

Police categorically rejected the accusation, arguing that members of the force did not allow interventions in their work, whether related to football violence or otherwise.

In a written statement, the force called on Georgiades to hand over any evidence he had to the police leadership.

The force said it arrested 111 individuals in 2015, connected to 39 cases. By September 2016, police had investigated 17 cases and arrested 33 people.

Police requests from the court to issue orders banning these individuals from sporting grounds until their trial.

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