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Cyprus

Sports ID cards introduced in bid to fight hooliganism

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The identity card for sports fans is to be rolled out as of the coming sports season (2018-2019) this autumn, the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA) said on Monday.

Admittance to any sports venue will from now be granted only to individuals possessing the card, with no exceptions, KOA officials said.

The stated goal of the measure is to crack down on hooliganism.

“Sports is a social commodity, and KOA must provide it and safeguard it as such,” the organisation’s chairman Kleanthis Georgiades said at a news conference in Nicosia.

“The state decided that society and citizens are entitled to safe sports grounds. It is not that we want to turn sports grounds into churches, but we don’t want them becoming battlefields either,” he noted.

Registering to obtain the card begins on July 25 until August 31. Subsequently, anyone who has not registered will be able to do so at designated locations.

Georgiades said KOA is aware of some people’s misgivings over the measure, adding he was ready to meet with any organised group to discuss their concerns.

But, he added, everyone should rest assured that their personal data will be protected. The registry of sports fans would be kept by KOA alone, and access to it will be restricted to an authorised data officer, the chairman and the general secretary of the organisation.

Registering for the card can be done online at: https://theasis.cy.net/koa

It is also possible to register by visiting designated locations: from July 25 at the Tsirion stadium in Limassol; from July 26 at the GSP stadium and the Tassos Papadopoulos-Eleftheria sports arena in Nicosia; from July 27 at the AEK Arena, the Ammochostos stadium, and the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium in Larnaca; from July 27 at the Pafiakos stadium in Paphos; and from July 27 at the Tasos Markou stadium (Paralimni).

Sports fans may choose to procure an electronic card, costing €1, or a plastic card for €3.

Regardless, cards are issued only at the designated physical registration venues, from July 25 to August 31 (9am to 3pm, and 4pm to 8pm on weekdays, and 9am to 3pm on Saturdays).

The controversial idea of an identity card for sports fans was voted in 2014 as part of a bill to fight hooliganism.

It was opposed by the organised supporters of all major football clubs, citing concerns that police would use the data to keep tabs on them.

Main opposition party Akel argued that the state should stay out of the scheme, and that any such arrangement should be between the parties concerned, the fan and the club, which would be liable.

 

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