NICOSIA, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) — The head of the Cyprus Sports Association (CSO), Cleanthis Georgiades said on Monday that his life is being threatened by people he did not name.
“Threats have been made against my life over the introduction of the football fan Identify Card and for this reason the police is providing protection by patrolling outside my house,” Georgiades told the parliamentary Legal Committee.
The House Legal Committee was discussing the possibility of revising regulations concerning the fan card which is required to enter into fields where athletic events are held, after football clubs complained that attendance of soccer matches decreased considerably as a result of the measure.
Groups of organized fans of football clubs, which have been blamed for soccer field violance, have strongly objected to the introduction of the card and have since stayed away of football games.
Cyprus has a long history of violence related to football, as several referees, the building of their association and the previous president of the Cyprus Football Association became targets of bomb attacks over the past few years.
Nobody has been brought to court for these attacks, but the police and sports officials have indicated that they suspect criminal groups involved in game fixing, in association with or acting on behalf of similar groups in Asia.
The European soccer governing body UEFA also said that it had established there had been increased betting activity on several Cypriot football matches in Asian countries in the past few years.
The Cypriot football authorities, acting on evidence submitted by UEFA, have fined several teams suspected of being involved in the match fixing.