Cypriot Referees Go on Strike Following Car Arson Attack
Cypriot football referees strike after arsonists target a referee’s mother’s car, sparking safety concerns. CFA takes action.
Cypriot football referees have initiated an indefinite strike after a distressing incident. Earlier in the day, arsonists set fire to a car belonging to a referee’s mother, as reported by the Cyprus Referees Association (CRA).
As a result of this unsettling development, the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) has decided to suspend all soccer fixtures, beginning with a game originally scheduled for Monday night.
For several years, Cyprus’s football scene has been marred by incidents targeting referees. These actions have included bomb attacks and other forms of aggression against individual referees and their association’s premises, with the most recent occurring in June of last year.
The CRA is calling upon the CFA and the government to implement security measures to address the ongoing violence directed at referees. They also strongly criticize the authorities for failing to resolve any of the numerous bomb attack cases against referees.
Monday’s arson attack specifically targeted the car of referee Menelaos Antoniou’s mother. Antoniou had officiated a high-profile soccer match the previous Sunday night. The incident took place in a Nicosia suburb, where the car was parked outside her house.
The CFA has issued a statement expressing deep concern about the repeated malicious actions against referees, creating an atmosphere of terror around them. The organization reaffirms its support for the referees and their families and hopes that the perpetrators will be brought to justice through ongoing police investigations.
Furthermore, the CFA is actively working to arrange meetings between referees and relevant government authorities to discuss matters related to referee safety. This incident follows a similar suspension of football fixtures in January 2020, prompted by a bomb attack against a referee’s car.