The entrance of a company office – affiliated to under-fire Cyprus Football Association (CFA) boss Costakis Koutsokoumnis – was bombed in the early hours of Thursday morning.
According to Limassol CID investigators, the explosion occurred at 2.30am at the main entrance of the Minerva Insurance company offices on Omirou Street. The blast caused extensive damage to the glass door and the main entrance hall of the company.
Preliminary investigations say that the blast was caused by a highly-volatile self-made explosive device and also caused some minor damage to nearby shops.
Forensic detectives have sealed off the scene while investigations continue. Media sources claim that Koutsokoumnis has told investigators that he suspects “underworld figures involved with match-fixing” are behind the attack.
It is not the first time that company offices belonging to Koutsokoumnis’ family have been attacked. The same offices were attacked in similar fashion four years ago. Despite continuously getting the backing of the clubs, Koutsokoumnis continues to be a symbol of hate by many football fans on the island.
His popularity further plummeted with his plans in the past to reunite the CFA with the Cyprus Turkish Football Association while photographs of him (left) – wearing a Turkish football jersey during a friendly football game in Istanbul – also prompted fans and some politicians to call for his immediate resignation.
Koutsokoumnis has been CFA President since 2001 but has been accused of using his position to bolster his position within the ranks of FIFA and UEFA as opposed to dealing with more pressing matters at home.
Apart from match-fixing, Cypriot football continues to be plagued by problems such as hooliganism, accusations of bias refereeing and nepotism while Cyprus continues to have the highest number of foreign players in it’s top division in Europe.
According to world footballers union (FIFPro), Cyprus also has one of the worst reputations in the world for players being left unpaid or mistreated by their clubs.
A number of football clubs in Cyprus had also been spending well above their means with big clubs such as Omonia, Anorthosis and AEL still reeling from huge debts. Other clubs like 2009 Cyprus Cup winners APOP Kinyras/Peyias and Alki went bankrupt and were later dissolved.