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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Hooliganism reflects ‘crisis in values’ ]

Hooliganism reflects ‘crisis in values’

A SOCIAL alliance against youth violence and hooliganism is in the making after a high level meeting at the Presidential Palace yesterday.

President Demetris Christofias convened the meeting in light of the violent events on Sunday morning.

At the latest incident of football violence, three men were attacked by a gang of balaclava-clad hooligans wielding bats and pickaxes at the APOEL Football Club building in Nicosia.

Michalis Michael, who was the most seriously injured of the victims, now faces a real risk of losing eyesight in one eye.

Justice Minster Kypros Chrysostomides, Chief of Police Iacovos Papacostas and Attorney-general Petros Clerides were all in attendance for the 90-minute-long session.

Speaking after the end of the meeting, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said, “the government firmly condemns the abhorrent phenomena of violence and hooliganism which have recently made an appearance both inside and outside of football games.

“Today’s meeting is the starting point to taking those measures that will aid in building a social alliance to combat violence and crime.”

Authorities, political parties, popular youth organisations and football clubs are among the actors who will have a role in the new alliance, according to Stephanou.
The government also reiterated its support to the police, “which is the arm of the law in maintaining public order.

“Stamping out the phenomenon is necessary but insufficient, therefore close co-operation between the government, the Attorney-general and the police is warranted,” argued Stephanou.

He went on to say that prevention was high on the list of the government’s priorities, especially because the issue under discussion affected the younger generations of the country.

Stephanou thought that the reason why football violence and hooliganism would not go away is, “the global crisis in values which inevitably affects our country as well.”

A new meeting will be held today under the auspices of Justice Minister to determine what specific measures will be taken at the April 30 game between APOEL and Omonia for the Cup.

The game was initially planned for today, but was postponed after Sunday’s incidents.
The Nicosia rivals are also set to clash on Saturday evening in a league game.

In the meantime, EDEK has swiftly moved to propose no less than 12 measures for the prevention and limitation of football violence.

These were announced at a press conference yesterday by EDEK leader Yiannakis Omirou, who thought that the recent events can only provoke “shame” in our society and that, “it is high time that the state took action.”

Ethical and material rewards for fans and clubs who contribute to curbing football violence, the creation of a select team of referees on a trial basis who would officiate the games, and full transparency as to how the Cyprus Football Association operates, are some of the measures proposed.

“In a country which is occupied by a foreign nation, we cannot stand idly by and watch a part of our younger generation ‘squander’ itself on hooliganism. It is time everyone assumed their responsibilities,” Omirou concluded.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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