The Apoel-Hapoel Beer Sheva second round Europa League qualifier at Nicosia’s GSP stadium was delayed by 15 minutes as the record attendance of local fans overwhelmed the undermanned security control.
Eyewitness reports said that thousands of fans were still impatiently standing in front of the solitary detector arch, as supporters were trickling through, with a long queue waiting behind.
The game was initially scheduled to start at 8pm local time.
Police helicopters and monitoring drones were deployed above the stadium, but also reaching well into the adjacent Nicosia-Limassol highway, with residents of nearby homes complaining of the noise from the aerial patrols.
Apoel need a win on home ground in order to go through to the next round of the Europa League, having been knocked out of the lucrative Champion’s League games. The Nicosia side drew 2-2 with the Israeli squad in the first round and hope they can overturn the negative sentiment and give their fans a much-need win.