Cyprus Mail

Arrests after further football violence at Larnaca match (updated)

Apollon fans at the match

The Larnaca district court on Tuesday banned a 22-year-old man from attending sporting events until his trial date on November 15 after he admitted to bringing flares to the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium during the Anorthosis-Apollon clash.

A second person arrested after the match on Monday night, a 19-year-old man, denied all accusations against him, namely rioting and possession of flares and smoke bombs inside the stadium, resisting arrest and unlawful entry into a sporting venue.

According to Larnaca police spokesman Haris Hadjiyiasemi, the 19-year-old is a second division football player. His trial will take place on October 13.

Both men were released from custody, with the 22-year-old having to post bail of €2,000.

After the final whistle, several Anorthosis fans managed to make their way onto the pitch and outside the home team’s dressing room.

Angry fans also entered the press room after the match, interrupting Anorthosis manager Xisco Munoz’s press conference.

At the same time, riot police in full gear had to use tear gas outside the stadium to control the enraged fans and restore order.

The arrests come on the back of incidents that took place during last Friday’s game between Apoel and Karmiotissa at GSP Stadium.

Two people who were arrested in connection with crowd violence during that match will appear in court on October 12. One of them was part of the Karmiotissa official delegation.

“The two people arrested will have to defend themselves against accusations of assault, illegal possession of weapons, disturbing public peace and resisting arrest,” police spokesman Christos Andreou told the Cyprus News Agency.

Moreover, the man who was part of the Karmiotissa delegation will have to answer to an accusation of illegal employment, Andreou said.

He added that efforts are underway to ban those arrested from entering sports venues.

GSP stadium manager Phivos Constantinides said the ugly scenes witnessed during the game could have easily been avoided if checks were carried out properly.

Speaking to CyBC, Constantinides said that because the match was not considered a high-risk event by the authorities, stewards tasked with upholding security outside the stadium did not properly check people’s fan cards, as they are required to do by law, or check those in the official boxes.

“Everyone needs to have their fan cards checked before accessing the premises,” he said.

Constantinides also spoke of an increase in violent incidents linked to football games in Cyprus in recent months and attributed the escalation to the return of organised fans at stadiums.


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