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Cyprus football bans away fans after player hurt

Away fans in Cyprus are banned from first and second division fixtures plus cup games, the country’s Football Association announced Friday, after an object thrown from the stands injured a player.

The ban will be effective from the 21st match week scheduled for January 26-28 until the end of the season, as well as for matches of the quarter-final and semi-final phases of the FA Cup, the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) said.

Football on the Mediterranean island, which is a European Union member, has a years-long history of struggling to control crowd violence.

The ruling comes after a flare was thrown from the stands towards a warm-up area for home team substitute players during a top-tier fixture between Nea Salamina and APOEL Nicosia on Tuesday.

According to local media, Salamina’s George Papageorgiou needed hospital treatment, which showed his hearing had been affected.

The football players’ union had already expressed concerns about ground safety and have threatened to go on strike.

In its decision, the CFA said no tickets would be issued for the visiting team, and there would be no fan segregation at the stadium.

However, visiting first division teams will be allowed to bring a list of 50 individuals outside the match squad and team staff.

The football association said it would “strictly enforce the regulations and impose the strictest penalties where there are incidents of violence or events that provoke violence, including incendiary statements”.

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