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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Supporters’ clubs back police in bid to offset football violence ]

Supporters’ clubs back police in bid to offset football violence

THE ORGANISED supporters of Nicosia football rivals APOEL and Omonia have promised to join forces with the police and avert further violent incidents.

Speaking after a meeting with the teams’ organised supporters’ associations (PASYFI), Nicosia Police Chief Kypros Michaelides said specific decisions had been taken on how supporters could help police for the forthcoming Cup match between the eternal rivals.

The match, initially scheduled for this Wednesday, was postponed last week after a vicious attack on three APOEL fans, which left one in serious danger of losing his eye.
“I am confident that today’s meeting has led to some serious decisions,” said Michaelides. “I feel that we will have organised supporters on our side and as the two PASYFI presidents are very serious, we will have a good result in policing the match.”

The police, he added, was determined to take all the necessary measures in order to ensure a smooth outcome.

“We will be relentless in the event that any incidents take place,” Michaelides warned, adding however that the necessary measures would be taken beforehand to avoid it. “But if there are isolated incidents, we have the power, the will and the desire and we are ready to combat them.”

He explained that there would policemen following any movements made by organised supporters, strict body searches before entering GSP Stadium and stewards from both teams who would supervise inside and outside the stadium and would be in continuous contact with police.

Around 300 police officers from Nicosia Police Headquarters and the Rapid Reaction Unit (MMAD) will be present at the stadium on Wednesday.

The President of Omonia’s PASYFI, Makis Kazakeos, condemned football violence and hooliganism, saying that these incidents reflected on their team. “The people who are involved in these incidents have absolutely no place in our club, or our organised supporters,” he said.

In the past few years, there hadn’t really been that many incidents between the two teams’ supporters, he added. “The isolated incidents that take place off the pitch are what concern us the most. We will try and avert any possible trouble so we can have a smooth outcome.”

Kazakeos added that there would be more than 100 stewards from each club in the stands and outside the stadium to keep an eye on things.

The president of APOEL’s PASYFI, Spyros Soteriou, asked his team’s supporters to stay calm.
“It is a 90-minute game,” he said. “We are calling on our supporters to remain calm, listen to the association’s suggestions and announcements regarding the measures taken with the police and I hope that all will go well. At some point, this vendetta has to end.”


(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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