Cyprus Mail
Crime Cyprus

Remand for suspect in football club arson

Limassol district court

Limassol district court on Thursday remanded a 36-year-old man for eight days in connection with the Apollon fan club arson over the weekend.

He is a suspect for offences related to conspiracy to commit a crime, rioting, burglary, arson, illegal possession of explosives, malicious damage, possession of an offensive device and violation of the coronavirus measures.

On Sunday afternoon, AEL fans set fire to the outside area of the Apollon fan club in Ayios Antonios, before throwing Molotov cocktails inside the premises.

Firefighters arrived on the scene shortly after and eventually managed to control the situation.

Police arrested the man after going through the CCTV cameras and identifying the vehicle driven by the AEL fan, they said. The car was registered under another person who on January 27 had taken it to the mechanic, the father of the suspect who was driving it over the weekend.

The same car was identified by an Apollon fan who said the suspect, wearing AEL fan gear overtook and damaged his car prior the arson on Sunday. The man in question had managed to escape.

The incidents started on Saturday, when a group of hooded Apollon fans gathered outside the AEL fan club and started throwing rocks at the building, breaking windows and damaging cars parked nearby.

As a result, police announced on Thursday that an increased presence of officers belonging to the rapid response team (MMAD) will be deployed before Monday night’s game to prevent fans from clashing.

Specifically, a total of 30 MMAD officers will be stationed outside the stadium, along with 40 ant-riot policemen from Limassol and Paphos.

Ten police cars will also patrol the area around the stadium and the fan clubs, the police announced.

On Sunday night, Apollon and AEL released a joint statement condemning their fans’ actions and underlining that such behaviour has no place in the city of Limassol. Both clubs urged their fans to abstain from creating problems.

Both teams are having a very positive season so far. Apollon currently stand second in the Cyprus championship table with 51 points, behind leaders Omonia but with one game in hand and the possibility of overtaking the Nicosia team at the top.

AEL are currently third with 49 points and the chance of overtaking their rivals with a win in the derby.

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