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Police to clamp down on hooliganism

Police in Cyprus has been ordered to give no quarter in combatting hooliganism and violence at sports events while fan clubs have already been informed of the tough stance the police will be taking.

Speaking to the police leadership on Wednesday, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said that the hooliganism witnessed at the AEK practice session in Larnaca and the events preceding the friendly between Ethnikos and APOEL were cause for concern.

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“There are no excuses,” said Nicolaou.

He urged police to continue to arrest the ringleaders of such phenomena as they had when Anorthosis fans invaded an AEK practice session in Larnaca.

“The police must be determined to continue with preventative and restrictive measures in this area,” said Nicolaou.

Nicolaou made particular reference to APOEL giving the police specific instructions not to tolerate attacks by APOEL fans on members of the public passing by their club house as attacks on Turkish Cypriots also raises political issues.

Anti-riot squad commanders were ordered to handle the issue of hooliganism more professionally by gathering information before a game and to hold talks with clubs and their fan clubs in order to be adequately prepared in especially high-risk games.

Police officers on duty at games have also been ordered to assist stewards to ensure an orderly and better-controlled entry to the stadiums.

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