Cyprus on Monday announced plans to hold crisis talks on football hooliganism and a key semi-final match was postponed after a masked gang attacked three people outside APOEL Nicosia’s fan club.
Cyprus president Demetris Christofias will chair a crisis meeting on football violence on Tuesday involving the justice minister, chief of police and attorney general.
“Certainly, tomorrow’s meeting will also be about these recent incidents,” said government spokesman Stephanos Stephanou.
A 27-year-old suffered a serious eye injury when three men were assaulted by a gang of more than 20 youths carrying pieces of wood and rocks outside APOEL’s clubhouse early on Sunday, police said.
It is believed the trio were targeted because they were assumed to be APOEL fans because their car was parked nearby.
The gang also tried to set fire to the clubhouse and caused damage to the building’s exterior. Police have arrested a person in connection with the attack.
The incident triggered a public and political outcry over the rise in football-related violence and led the police to call for the game to be postponed over fears of possible crowd trouble.
The Cyprus Football Association met on Monday and announced the semi-final between APOEL and Omonia scheduled for Wednesday would be postponed until April 30.
Omonia-APOEL derby games are fiercely contested and rarely pass without trouble among two of the best supported teams on the island.
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