A firecracker thrown from the stands hit a player and resulted in the cancellation of a match, it emerged on Wednesday.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou told state media that CCTV had shown the device came from a section of the stands occupied by Apoel fans, during the Coca-Cola cup selections match against Nea Salamina on Tuesday in Famagusta stadium.

Police are making every effort to identify and arrest the perpetrator, Andreou said.

Following the incident on Tuesday, team doctor Anetta Evangelou stated that the injured player, Giorgos Papageorgiou, was not in condition to continue playing.

According to media reports, the firecracker exploded in front of the player while he was warming up and he fell to the ground.

The referee interrupted the game, while stadium authorities warned fans through the megaphone that should another item be thrown, the game would be cancelled.

Asked to address public criticism about the ineffectiveness of preventive checks carried out by police at stadium entrances, Andreou replied that the banned items were challenging to control.

“It is impossible that such a large number of items are entering through the main gates. It is also very difficult to completely curb the smuggling-in of such very small items and impossible to check [all the] places where they can be hidden,” he said.

The spokesman went on to recall that last December police had uncovered a hidden stash of banned items behind a metal grill during stadium repairs, indicating that perpetrators were finding ingenious ways to hide the objects in advance.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, at GSP stadium in Nicosia, an unidentified perpetrator threw a stone at a police vehicle damaging its rear window.

According to police, the incident took place during the departure of fans from the Omonia 29-Anorthosis football match, also part of the Coca-Cola cup, which ended in favour of Anorthosis.

Police are investigating both incidents.