NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus’ justice minister on Wednesday unveiled a bunch of measures to fight fan violence at sporting occasions, together with pre-game drug and alcohol exams, elevated physique searches and harder policing.
The measures come days after opposing followers at a basketball playoff sport between rivals Anorthosis and Apollon fought inside and out of doors the Tassos Papadopoulos stadium within the capital Nicosia, setting hearth to public transport places of work outdoors the venue.
Justice minister Anna Koukkides-Procopiou mentioned the federal government will introduce authorized amendments enabling police to manage drug and alcohol exams to suspected customers forward of sporting occasions.
Police will intensify searches of followers coming into venues whereas bans for convicted offenders will probably be raised to a most of 10 years.
A devoted riot squad will probably be tasked with solely policing sporting and different “high-risk” occasions, whereas police inspections and oversight of travelling followers will probably be stepped up.
Police arrested three individuals in reference to the violence on the basketball sport 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 automobiles parked outdoors the stadium have 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 wanting into the violence, police mentioned.
Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides condemned the violence, saying such conduct can now not be tolerated.
“It’s been mentioned, mentioned once more, each time after such incidents there are conferences and extra conferences,” he informed reporters Tuesday. “It’s time for choices.”
Fan organizations pointed a finger of blame at regulation enforcement for not doing its job, however police representatives spoke out towards what they mentioned was an absence of help for officers on the entrance strains of such violence.
Different measures Koukkides-Procopiou introduced have been the extra energetic involvement of police within the issuing of fan identification playing cards that have been launched as a strategy to stave off unruly conduct by followers concealing their identification.
She mentioned closed-circuit cameras will probably be put in in any respect stadiums the place top-flight sporting occasions are being held.
The minister added that the lawyer normal’s workplace will look into authorized amendments empowering police to implement both a ban on travelling followers if deemed crucial, or canceling the occasion altogether.
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