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Review: 498 days for the fan card – Did it succeed or not?

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Review: 498 days for the fan card - Did it succeed or not?

The introduction of the fan card continues to be one of the main issues that monopolize the interest and discussions of Cypriot fans. The stadiums certainly did not empty overnight or overnight because the legislation was passed, but it is now a red flag for organized fans of teams that are away from the first day of the measure.

It was July 23, 2014, when the plenary session of the House of Representatives, in the presence of the former Minister of Justice, voted with 31 votes in favor and 18 votes against in an extraordinary session of the bill on violence in stadiums, which would include a fan card. . With the organized fans of the teams – especially those of the first six – to be a boiling cauldron, with the vote of DISY, DIKO, EDEK, EUROCO and Ecologists, as well as the vote of Zacharias Koulias, with whom the bill took shape. . Only the 18 AKEL deputies had opposed. The plenary session of the Parliament, before voting on the said bill, had proceeded to amendments that had then brought the reaction of Ionas Nikolaou who would have stated during the plenary debate that he would wait for the final text. The most important thing from this vote was that the Cyprus Sports Organization (KOA) would own the register of fans. It should be noted that the law that was passed made the issuance of the fan card mandatory for someone to enter the stadium and its implementation began in August 2018.

Dynamic reaction

At the time when the Parliament would make its final decision, the organized fans of the teams issued a joint announcement. Specifically, the organized fans of the teams AEK, AEL, Anorthosis, APOEL, APOLLONA, Nea Salamina and Omonia after pressuring the administrations of their teams to stop this vote – and after realizing that such a thing was not possible – said in a joint statement: “After a meeting, all the fan groups of the island decided to hold simultaneous separate marches against the new sports terrorist. We who follow our groups everywhere, we who felt the state repression in our skin, could not but leave aside our differences and stand against the fascist measures that they promote “. In addition, they clarified then that they are against violence in the stadiums and added that “we have dozens of proposals to submit, but unfortunately, we were never asked for our opinion. We can write for hours about how criminal the new measures are. However, we prefer not to go into too much detail and announce that we will return with a press conference “. In fact, they called on the fans to be present en masse in the mobilizations.

The background

It is worth noting that before the register of the fans file in the KOA ended, the initial proposal of Ionas Nikolaou provided that the ownership of the file would pass into the hands of the teams. In fact, the specific suggestion was accepted by the President of the Republic. However, a fact that the groups did not accept, with their representatives expressing reservations, favoring, behind the scenes, of course, the argument that they themselves should not be the “surrender” of their fans.

The result of the specific attitude of the administrations of the unions was that Ionas Nikolaou favored – as it happened – that the file end up in the hands of the COM.

We also remind you that the measure was taken then as a reaction and response of the state to the serious incidents between fans at the “Nuevo Campo” stadium, which resulted in a young man losing his eye. Ionas Nikolaou, after what happened, took the issue upon himself, stating about the episodes at that time that he was lucky that we did not mourn the victims.

Changes

Despite the ongoing criticism of the fan card, President Anastasiadis himself has clarified that the measure came to stay. This seems to have been consolidated by the teams themselves. However, as “P” revealed, the ruling party intends to soon proceed with a bill that will address specific changes. The bill will be based on the amending bill prepared by the government, which provides for the issuance of loyalty cards by unions. The register, however, based on the changes promoted by the government will continue to be monitored by the CMO and the Police will have unhindered access if they wish. In addition, the Commissioner for Personal Data, Irini Loizidou, clarified in her turn to the government and the unions, but also in her reports before the Legal Committee, that according to the European legislation regarding personal data, the groups cannot issue their own cards. . Under the changes being promoted, people under 14 and over 65 will not be issued a fan card. Also, six misdemeanors that until today were criminal are converted into disciplinary. The first offense that turns from a criminal to a disciplinary one is the refusal of a team player to obey a suggestion to leave the field of play. Second is the illegal resale of tickets, third is the attempt of a fan to enter the stadium with another fan card other than his own, fourth is the insulting of players – referees, fifth is the display of abusive banners and sixth is the throwing of plastic cups inside the stadium.

He may have “expelled” fans, but he also expelled the violence

Five years after the measure was passed, the groups failed to agree on what they wanted. APOEL and AEL insist through letters to the President of the Republic and the KOP respectively to ask for a solution to be found, as they both believe that they were affected by the measure, while the other teams seem to have “digested it”. In fact, last November, the KOP held an informal general assembly, where, among other things, the issue of the fan card was discussed again.

The culmination of the “uprising” of clubs and actors who curse the measure, is the recent mistake made in the match Omonia – APOEL that resulted in the arrest of Omonia fans who were later released. In communication of “P” with representatives of the teams, they told us that since the fan card is a law of the state, they will respect it and will now seek changes on the law before the Legal Committee that will meet again on the issue, or the end of January or February. It should be noted that KOP and unions met on August 21, 2018 and in a joint statement issued they stated that “both the KOP and all unions are in favor of the implementation of this measure, as a measure to combat violence.” “It is,” he added, “clear that the measure is legislation, the state has decided it wants safe stadiums.”

The main question is whether the fan card has worked in favor of reducing violence on the pitch. Based on the complaints that the sports judge of the KOP has before him for the last year and a half, according to the spokesman of the KOP Konstantinos Siamboulis who spoke to “P”, the measure really worked, since the complaints that have reached the sports judge so far are minimal, and no closed-door games are played. Mr. Siampoulis stressed, however, that changes must be made in order to make Cypriot football attractive to the fans again.

The opinion that the card “worked” is also shared by the Minister of Justice George Savvidis, who speaking to “P” stated that he is open to dialogue with the teams for any corrections, but clarified that the main reason the measure was implemented is to crack it down. violence, a goal that has been achieved. Of course, the issue of the above is now how to convince the pure fans of the teams to return to the stadiums. We also asked a question to the experienced director of GSP, Fivos Konstantinidis, who told us that everyone's goal should be to treat football as a product. In this regard, he said that the GSP will soon begin processing proposals to offer better services to fans. Regarding the attendance of the fans, it should be noted that more than 90 thousand fans have issued a fan card.

Source: politis.com.cy

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