A 25-year-old man believed to be the spectator who injured a footballer with a powerful firecracker during last weekend’s AEL v APOEL title decider was on Thursday remanded in police custody for four days.
Speaking before the Limassol District Court, the AEL supporter’s lawyer said his client is innocent and willing to help police in any way possible with the investigation.
The judge ordered that if the investigation wraps up before the remand expires and finds evidence against the suspect he should be charged and released from custody.
The suspect was arrested on Wednesday night after he was reportedly identified in CCTV footage of the match.
APOEL’s Brazilian defender Kaka suffered head injuries and trauma to his ear drum when the powerful firecracker exploded close to the bench of his team during the big match at Tsirio Stadium in Limassol on Saturday. The incident led referee Demetris Masias to call off the game after 52 minutes.
Meanwhile, three football fans were yesterday charged with assaulting police officers outside the APOEL clubhouse in Nicosia as supporters celebrated the team’s Cyprus Coca-Cola Cup triumph over Ermis Aradippou on Wednesday.
The suspects two aged 19 and the other 17 were released from custody to appear in court at a later date.
Nine fans in total were arrested outside the clubhouse, situated just opposite the Hilton Hotel in Nicosia, and outside the GSP stadium after they were found to be carrying illegal firecrackers.
According to the police the suspects, with exception of the trio, were all released without being charged.
Two police officers suffered injuries following the attack by supporters of APOEL while teargas was also fired to disburse the crowds.
Commenting on the incident, deputy police spokesperson Nicoletta Tyrimou denied rumours that officers goaded APOEL fans outside their clubhouse stating that police were targeted by hooligans in an unprovoked attacked.
“For no reason whatsoever a group of fans that were celebrating their victory began launching rocks, firecrackers and other items at on-duty officers in the area.”
She added that a decision to use teargas on the violent supporters was completely justified.
“The only way to disperse a mob that is hurling rocks and explosive at members of the police is to use teargas.”
The spokesperson described the incident as “extremely disappointing” and called on football clubs to take their share of the responsibility in controlling rowdy fans.
“At this point intervention from the clubs is absolutely necessary. Clearly there must be a police presence at football matches to keep the peace but we also need support to do our jobs.”