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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

CYPRUS: Breathalyzer and drug test before entering the stadiums, by decision of the Cabinet

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The Council of Ministers approved the amendment of the legislation in relation to the Prevention and Suppression of Violence in Sports Venues Law, which provides for escalating penalties with an increase in the length of time of exclusion from sports matches up to and including the cancellation of a match, according to the Minister of Justice and Public Order, Anna Koukidis-Prokopiou.

Specifically, Mrs. Prokopiou, in her statements at the Presidential Palace after the session of the Council of Ministers, stated that they proceeded with the ratification of the amendment to the legislation in relation to the Law on the Prevention and Suppression of Violence in Sports Venues. He noted that the legal technical review was done and an amendment will be submitted to the Parliament, with a specific bill, according to a previous decision of the Council of Ministers.

The Minister said that they will move to change the legislation to introduce closed circuit monitoring in every sports venue used to hold a match or event, when it has an international dimension, or even in local league matches. “And because we know compliance with the new data takes time, we're asking for a one-year grace period so that we can give stadiums and clubs time to adapt to the new legislation,” he said.

At the same time, he added, “as we have said in the past, our concern as the Ministry of Justice is to strengthen the presence of the Police in the sports venues, precisely because we see that there is a need”.

This, he noted, will be done by intensifying the physical control of the fans, the identification and confiscation of illegal and dangerous items by the Police, which, as he said, has already started to happen “but at the same time, a very important tool is the provision to the Police the ability to carry out breathalyzer and drug tests on people who want to enter sports venues”.

According to the Minister, the government's proposal also concerns the increase in the duration of the decree of exclusion from sports matches or events and entrances to sports venues. “We will propose to increase the first, second and third and more convictions gradually,” he said, explaining that the first conviction will no longer carry six months to a year but one year to two years, “and we will go incrementally proposing disqualification up to and 10 years in very serious cases and multiple convictions”.

He also said that the fan card control at sports venues will be strengthened, again with the involvement of the Police, and that there will be a stricter approach to the conduct of matches when and if the Chief of Police informs the relevant federation of his own concerns. which will be based on reasonable suspicion or information if there may be fan behavior that could cause any kind of incident or disturbance of public order. ban on the movement of fans of the visiting team, the next stage will be to hold matches without fans, and the most important measure will be to cancel the holding of a match if there is serious information of the kind I have mentioned above,” he added.

“So we are moving forward,” said Ms. Prokopiou, noting that this was a commitment by the Christodoulidis Government and the Ministry of Justice. She also said that her Ministry has consulted with all the agencies involved, and thanked all the agencies involved in this effort.

Source: 24h.com.cy

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