Cyprus Mail

CFA chairman targeted in office explosion (Update 2)

Under pressure CFA chairman Costakis Koutsokoumnis

The Limassol offices of Minerva insurance company in Omirou street, in which Cyprus Football Association chairman Costakis Koutsokoumnis has an interest was bombed in the early hours of Thursday.

“An explosion took place at 2.30am today at the entrance to the offices of a company in Limassol,” a police statement said. “From the explosion, damage was caused to the glass entrance and lobby of the building in which the company is housed.”

“From preliminary investigations made, it was found that the explosion was caused by the triggering of an improvised explosive.”

The attack was not the first to target Minerva’s Limassol offices, as in November 2009 a similar incident was recorded.

Police said the scene had been sealed off and put under guard until investigators arrived at first light.

The chairman of the CFA appears to have taken the incident in his stride as a post on his Facebook page he said he would continue on the same path, while wishing everyone a secure Thursday.”

“When you make changes, you have to pay the price. When you make changes, suddenly the road is a lonely one.”

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said “People will be questioned. Understanding the seriousness of the situation, the police will do whatever is possible.”

Asked how easily solving cases involving red notices and betting was, the spokesman replied it was very unique as it was not down to witnesses, but evidence and data, “You need for example to lift the confidentiality (on communications). That is a tool that can help. Police act within the legal system which exists. Attempts are being made for the introduction of new tools. The attempt and cooperation have to be collective. We act within this context.”

CFA vice-chairman Haris Loizides said the investigation would bring to light those responsible and the reasons behind the attack. “It will show whether the incentives are football related and who the guilty are. There are security cameras, we will see. It was an explosive device, not a very powerful one, not much damage was done,” he said, pointing out that “All scenarios are possible. Mr Koutsokoumnis has several issues on his plate, he deals with many people. Usually though, such matters have to do with football. The last time, some four or five years ago, it was planted in order to intimidate. I spoke this morning with Mr Koutsokoumnis who told me that it was not something serious.”

The Cyprus referees’ association condemned the bombing calling it disgusting while expressing regret, resentment and disappointment over the incident.

“The new attack should trouble everyone and should ensure a prompt and systematic response by the competent authorities and meticulous in depth investigation, so as to identify the perpetrators, who are none other than those who do not want the good of Cypriot football,” a statement from the association said.

“The referees’ association, once again calls on the state, and particularly the minister of justice and the chief of police, to act quickly and effectively identify and exemplarily punish the guilty.”

A number of clubs condemned the attack, expressing their support for the CFA chairman.



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