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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Youth recovering from head injuries after hooligans run riot ]

Youth recovering from head injuries after hooligans run riot

A 20-YEAR-old man is being treated with head injuries at Larnaca General Hospital after being injured in a stone-throwing brawl before the Anorthosis-Omonia football match on Sunday.

Members of the Police Rapid Reaction Unit (MMAD) had to intervene a little before the game kicked off, when a number of the two teams’ fans started hurling stones at each other outside the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium.

One MMAD officer was slightly injured to the leg and had to be treated in hospital.
According to a police announcement, violent incidents took place before and after the match, which saw Anorthosis officially crowned this season’s champions.

After the game, hundreds of Anorthosis fans surged onto the pitch to celebrate their team’s success and started throwing objects at the visiting team’s fans, who reciprocated.

Furthermore, Omonia fans caused a damage to the southern stands of the stadium by breaking four windows.

A MMAD patrol car was also damaged during a stone-throwing incident, while two stores neighbouring the stadium had their windows smashed.

In addition, a Larnaca resident told police that while he had been in his car with three other persons, unidentified youths attacked his car, causing damage and slightly injuring the passengers.

Meanwhile, an 18-year-old Anorthosis fan was arrested before kick-off for trying to enter the stadium with five fireworks.

The House Legal Affairs Committee last week wrapped up discussions on a bill aimed at combating hooliganism in sports areas.

The new law, if approved by the Plenum, provides a maximum 10-year ban from all sports arenas for offenders.

Suggestions were made and views were exchanged between deputies as the Committee examined the bill for more than two years.

Finally, last week the penalties for various violations were decided on the final draft, which will be submitted to the Plenum for approval.

A provision added at the last minute provides a ban on persons convicted of sports-related hooliganism from sports arenas.

According to the new provision, in the event of a conviction, the Court can ban convicts from going to a game or sports event. It can also impose a sentence, banning convicts from all sports areas.

This ban will not exceed six months for first-time offenders.

In the instance of second-time offenders, the ban will not exceed one year and in the event of a third conviction, it will be no longer than three years.

But if there are more convictions, offenders could face up to a 10-year ban from all sports areas.

Another provision was added, enabling police to keep convicts under surveillance while games are under way.

According to the new law:

l It is forbidden to take provocative banners to sporting events

l Entrance tickets will be bought with the presentation of ID cards

l Sports fans will sit in specific seats designated on their tickets, firstly to avoid counterfeit tickets and secondly for police to have better control if violent incidents break out

l Sports representatives (coaches, team chairman etc) who make provocative statements that could cause violent incidents will be penalised with €5,000 (at present the penalty is €2,000).

l In terms of fines and penalties, these vary depending on the severity of the crime. The highest penalty is up to three years in jail, except for those caught destroying property within or around a sports arena, which is “a criminal offence and in the event of conviction, one is subject to a prison sentence that will not exceed seven years”.

The main fines and penalties that hooligans face:

l Caught carrying an aggressive weapon – up to €4,000 fine and/or up to two years in prison

l Entering a sports stadium without permission – up to €2,000 fine and/or up to one year in jail

l Entering an arena without a ticket – up to a €1,000 fine

l Being drunk or under the influence of drugs – up to a €2,000 fine and/or one-year imprisonment

l Creating riots and resulting in a match’s interruption or cancellation – €4,000 fine and or two years in jail

l Non-compliance to court ban into sports arenas – up to €4,000 fine and/or two years prison

l Projecting banners with racist or other insulting messages – up to €1,000 fine and/or six months prison

l Sports arenas who fail to install CCTV systems – up to €2,000 fine and/or one year in jail

l Arenas caught selling alcoholic drinks – up to €2,000 fine

l Caught with fireworks – up to €1,000 fine

l Caught with counterfeited tickets – up to €4,000 fine and/or two years in prison

l Caught destroying sports areas – up to seven years in prison.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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