January 18 – The Cypriot players’ union (PASP) has threatened to boycott matches in the country’s elite leagues unless authorities can guarantee the safety of players during matches.
The appeal comes after another incident on Tuesday during the game between Nea Salamina and APOEL Nicosia when a substitute player for the home side was hit by a flare.
The match was abandoned and Nea Salamina’s George Papageorgiou was taken to hospital where tests revealed that the hearing in his right ear was severely damaged.
PASP requested an immediate meeting with Cypriot football executives and the Cyprus Minister of Justice. It is expected that such a meeting will be held in the coming days and concrete actions will be taken by the law enforcement authorities.
“Intense reflection and indignation, more than any other time, prevails in the board of directors of PA.S.P. since attacks against football players during matches continue and create more insecurity for the protagonists of the sport. The highlight of the latest unacceptable incidents was the injury of Giorgos Papageorgiou in the Nea Salamina – APOEL match, which also caused the match to be stopped,” said a PASP statement.
“The firecracker that fell next to the football player, while he was warming up, resulted in his transfer to the hospital. According to the medical opinion, the unfortunate footballer suffered hearing loss in the right ear. Fortunately, we did not have the same results in the Omonia match on May 29th – Anorthosis, where a flare fell on the field during the match. Gentlemen, the situation has reached an impasse. We can no longer operate on wishful thinking and actions are needed.”
PASP said the issues have been discussed by its board and that they are waiting for an opportunity to present to the KOP (Cypriot FA) leadership. PASP has already met with police authorities over anti-violence measures and is waiting for ameeting with the Minister of Justice Marios Hartsiotis and the Chief of Police Stelios Papatheodorou.
“We cannot wait for the next injury that may even cause death. No, gentlemen, we are not far from that scenario. We also passed the zero point. Once again we call on the state to assume its responsibilities and crack down on hooliganism. These few who are in the stands and proceed with illegal acts, leave the state and its principles exposed, as well as the sane fans. That’s enough, gentlemen. Take action….”, concluded the players’ union.
Contact the writer of this story, Aleksander Krassimirov, at moc.l1709057744labto1709057744ofdlr1709057744owedi1709057744sni@o1709057744fni1709057744