Cyprus’ justice minister on Wednesday unveiled a number of measures to fight fan violence at sporting occasions, together with pre-game drug and alcohol assessments, elevated physique searches and more durable policing.
The measures come days after opposing followers at a basketball playoff recreation between rivals Anorthosis and Apollon fought inside and outdoors the Tassos Papadopoulos stadium within the capital Nicosia, setting hearth to public transport places of work exterior the venue.
Justice minister Anna Koukkides-Procopiou mentioned the federal government will introduce authorized amendments enabling police to manage drug and alcohol assessments to suspected customers forward of sporting occasions.
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Police will intensify searches of followers coming into venues whereas bans for convicted offenders might be raised to a most of 10 years.
A devoted riot squad might be tasked with solely policing sporting and different “high-risk” occasions, whereas police inspections and oversight of travelling followers might be stepped up.
Police arrested three folks in reference to the violence on the basketball recreation that noticed three Nicosia Public Transport places of work reverse the stadium go up in flames after being hit by Molotov cocktails.
Police mentioned six officers suffered minor accidents after being showered with flares, Molotov cocktails, rocks and different projectiles, whereas a number of police and personal autos parked exterior the stadium had been broken.
One officer who had accompanied Apollon followers aboard their bus has been suspended pending a disciplinary probe as a result of he allegedly refused to cooperate with investigators trying into the violence, police mentioned.
Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides condemned the violence, saying such conduct can not be tolerated.
“It’s been mentioned, mentioned once more, each time after such incidents there are conferences and extra conferences,” he instructed reporters Tuesday. “It’s time for choices.”
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Fan organizations pointed a finger of blame at legislation enforcement for not doing its job, however police representatives spoke out towards what they mentioned was an absence of assist for officers on the entrance traces of such violence.
Other measures Koukkides-Procopiou introduced had been the extra energetic involvement of police within the issuing of fan identification playing cards that had been launched as a technique to stave off unruly conduct by followers concealing their id.
She mentioned closed-circuit cameras might be put in in any respect stadiums the place top-flight sporting occasions are being held.
The minister added that the legal professional common’s workplace will look into authorized amendments empowering police to implement both a ban on travelling followers if deemed needed, or canceling the occasion altogether.
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