Police in Limassol say they have arrested a 25-year-old man believed to be the spectator that injured a footballer with a volatile firecracker during a high-profile football match on Saturday.
APOEL’s Brazilian defender Kaka suffered head injuries and trauma to his ear drum when the powerful boom from the firecracker exploded close to the bench of the team during the big match against AEL at the Tsirio Stadium in Limassol. The injury led to referee Demetris Masias calling off the game on 50 minutes and the outcome of the tie, which is set to determine if APOEL or AEL are crowned Cyprus champions, is expected to be ruled by the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) tribunal sometime today.
Late on Wednesday night, police officers moved in and arrested the suspect – which television cameras and photographs showed had been disguised in a skeleton mask – following a tip-off.
Investigators appear set to escort the man to Limassol District Court where they will request that they detain him in custody pending further investigations.
In the aftermath of the attack on Kaka, AEL claimed that it was impossible to know for sure if the culprit responsible for the attack was indeed one of their own fans despite the firecracker being thrown from the stands occupied by the fans of the Limassol club.
APOEL chairman Prodromos Petrides has been calling for the three points to be awarded to his side, despite the game being at 0-0 – a score that would have seen AEL crowned champions. His AEL counterpart, Andreas Sofocleous, has been arguing that the game needs to be replayed.