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Cyprus

MPs continue discussion on amending fan cards

MPs on Tuesday continued discussion of a bill amending provisions relating to the controversial fan identity card in a bid to appease organised football supporters who oppose it and have refused to attend fixtures.

Ruling Disy initially tried to have the card suspended, arguing that football stadiums lacked the facilities to fully enforce the regulations.

But reaction from the justice minister and Diko forced the party to change its plans and attention has turned to finding a way to appease supporters who refuse to attend.

Included in the provisions of a proposal tabled by Disy is to allow clubs to issue loyalty cards that will essentially act as the fan card issued by the sports federation KOA.

Officials told MPs that KOA will keep the registry since it was the only one authorised to ask the police to check whether an applicant has a record or a pending case relating to football violence.

Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides said such data could not be passed on to the clubs and can only be kept by KOA which will deactivate the card for as long as an attendance ban is in place.

Aimed at tackling hooliganism, the fan card was introduced in August 2018 following a long discussion in parliament and football clubs mainly on concerns of violation of personal data, as its holders have to provide some details such as photo, identity number, and address to have it issued.

Around 72,000 people have been issued a fan card.

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

Admission to any sports venue as of last August is granted only to those possessing the card. Since its introduction, there has been hardly any trouble.

 

 


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