Cyprus Mail

Three out of four footie fans wrongly arrested for causing trouble, police say (Update 2)

Omonia fans at Monday night's game

Three out of four Omonia fans arrested for hurling objects on the pitch during a match on Monday against Apoel have been released, police said on Thursday.

Later in the day, and following the release of the three fans, reports said that police arrested two more.

In the dying moments of the game, the referee awarded a penalty to Apoel, which sparked outrage on the stands even though the player missed, and the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Four fans, aged between 15 and 39-years-old, were arrested on Wednesday after they were supposedly caught on GSP stadium’s closed-circuit cameras throwing objects on the pitch.

“Three out of the four fans arrested after the game have been released after they were found to be innocent and they have been cleared of any wrongdoing,” a police spokesperson said.

Omonia fans have accused the police of overreacting by arresting the four fans in the aftermath of the heated game against their arch-rivals.

The Omonia fan association said the reaction to the incidents was excessive.

“We feel the police are trying to magnify what happened during the game by presenting it as a criminal action,” they said in a statement on their website on Wednesday.

“The reality, however, is different. The reality is that some fans reacted individually to an injustice by throwing paper cups on the pitch.

“While we condemn what happened, the actions were by no means violent, as the police reports said, and were not meant to harm anyone.”

The association added: “We have a government bill aimed at combating violence in sports. But does throwing paper cups constitute a violent action? Certainly not.”

The fans said that “even though the perpetrators of the incidents should be held accountable of their actions, we as fans, demand to be treated with dignity, respect and, most importantly, with impartiality.”

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