NICOSIA, Cyprus ( Associated Press) – Six cars were deliberately set ablaze a short distance from the soccer stadium where league leader Apollon Limassol played second-place APOEL Nicosia, Cypriot police said on Monday.
Police said the arson attack happened 30 minutes before the end of Sunday’s match. Apollon won 3–2, giving the Limassol team a four-point cushion over APOEL with two matches left in the season.
Police are also investigating the circumstances surrounding the attack on a 59-year-old man and his 26-year-old passenger car on the side of the highway near Tsirion Stadium soon after the end of the match.
According to the police, the driver and his passenger were attacked by a group of youths armed with stones and sticks.
The latest football-related violence came a week after a major brawl ahead of the match between Anorthosis Famagusta and Omonia Nicosia outside the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca. A 20-year-old man has received serious injuries on his body.
In that incident, the opposing groups allegedly threw stones and firecrackers at each other while setting fire outside the stadium. The violence prompted Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades to order a detailed report of recent incidents and urge police to increase security during matches.
Government spokesman Marios Pelecanos said in a written statement that the government would be “relentless” in its efforts to prevent similar “acts of violence or uncontrolled behaviour”.