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Football gone mad – corruption and car bombs

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All league football games in Cyprus have been suspended until further notice after a referee’s car was bombed following allegations of corruption.

The small Mediterranean island of Cyprus has suspended all football activity from children’s Grassroots to top-flight first division indefinitely.

This follows a referees car being subject to a car bomb attack.

Two recent top-flight matches refereed by Andres Constantinou have been the subject of complaints.

There were two games in question.

A league clash between Doxa and AEL which ended in a 2-2 draw. Then a cup game between Ayia Napa and Pafos FC.

Following the game AEL DOXA game, AEL lodged an official complaint about his officiating.

Red flags were raised about the Ayia Napa Pafos FC game after irregular betting.

Reports came in of an explosive device causing extensive damage to a motor vehicle in the early hours of the morning.

It later transpired to be the vehicle of referee Constantinou.

This is not the first time terrorist action been taken against football officials on the island.

Following this latest incident though match officials have taken action by refusing to work.

The football association has been left with no option other than to support them in light of its severity.

According to the Cyprus Mail, The Cyrpus Football Association said:

“Our referees made the decision to abstain.”

“It’s a sensible decision, it is not the first time a bomb has been placed.”

“I spoke to the referees and told them to decide what they want, and I will respect it.”

The severity of corruption in football in Cyprus is an ongoing issue. With 84 unresolved notices of match-fixing issued by UEFA since 2011.

However, the events of yesterday are becoming commonplace as fans have had their fill.

CFA chairman Koumas himself was targeted in October 2017 when his Mercedes S class was set on fire.

Referee Leontios Trattos was targeted twice with arson and bomb attacks.

In October 2014, an improvised explosive device was placed at the referee association offices.

The problem is not unique to Cyprus, as even the Spanish FA and La Liga has recently raised concerns.