Cyprus Mail

Measures to combat sports violence really are unrealistic

letters 1 grammata

I read with astonishment the story regarding Wednesday’s cabinet decision aiming to curb violence in sports stadiums (Cabinet approves drug and alcohol tests for fans at sports stadiums, Cyprus Mail, March 29)

The news that sports fans will be subjected to random alcohol and drugs tests on entry to venues further reinforces the view that our laws are no better than those seen in a dictatorship.

The idea that a police officer can select me for random testing, with my DNA then being on record, leaves me shaking my head.

Does everyone who has enjoyed a few too many drinks resort to hooliganism and violence? Of course not!

And what will happen if I fail a narcotest outside a stadium? Will the police then have the right to search me, come to my home or put me on a list of ‘suspects’?

Will criminal proceedings be instigated? The police made a big deal about an arrested man at the Tassos Papadopoulos Eleftheria Stadium being in possession of a half-smoked joint.

Really? It is complete ignorance to believe that those who smoke marijuana or take harder drugs are more likely to commit violence, and numerous studies around the world back this up.

On Thursday, police unions decried the government’s measures aimed at tackling hooliganism as “unrealistic” and I agree.

Good luck trying to test hundreds or thousands of sports fans outside stadiums. And who is going to pay for all of this?

Cyprus is an EU Member State, but instead of aligning our laws with advanced G20 democracies, our judicial system resembles those seen in third-world nations.

David Angelou, Pissouri

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