Parties seeking to postpone football fan ID cards Updated

first_imgThe football fan card must not be scrapped, Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides said on Wednesday after political parties called for the ID card to be temporarily abolished until the end of the year, citing lack of necessary equipment at stadiums.The minister said after a meeting of the House legal affairs committee that a bill amending the existing regulations governing the use of the fan card is currently at the state legal services for vetting. He said that there was no time however for the bill to be discussed in parliament before the summer recess.The football fan ID card was introduced last year as a way of combating hooliganism.Savvides said the card is an important tool in tackling football violence and it had yielded results last year.So far 72,000 people have acquired the card, he said.A police representative told MPs that since the card was introduced there have been no serious cases of violence within sports stadiums and zero injuries of officers or members of the public.“We see no reason why there should be any change either through its abolition or postponement,” Savvides said.He added that the final word however lies with parliament.The head of the committee, Giorgos Georgiou said after the meeting that the parties have agreed on preparing a proposal for postponing the provisions concerning the fan card until the end of the year.Georgiou said the lack of the necessary equipment at stadiums meant the fan card regulations were not being fully implemented.Most requirements concerning closed-circuit TV systems, electronic tickets, stadium stewards and electronics system for the identification of persons are not fulfilled by any stadium and sports arena. Therefore, based on the licensing authority no stadium where football matches take place meet the requirements, he said, adding that the authority will need until the end of December to prepare a report on the suitability of stadiums.The proposal to postpone the card is to be discussed by the committee next week.Savvides said that the amendment bill his ministry prepared, following consultations with football clubs, provides for the expansion of the clubs’ loyalty cards to be used also as fan cards and making changes concerning some offences.“We have removed the offence of mere insult from the law of violence in football pitches and we have replaced in some offences the penalty of imprisonment with expulsion from stadiums,” he said.The minister said the bill also suggests excluding the over 65s from the need to have a fan card.He said that there were bound to be disagreements by football clubs on the bill since each of them had submitted different proposals.“I am at their disposal to discuss issues they are concerned about or issues that would help increase the attendance of fans in stadiums,” he said.The fan card was opposed by fan clubs of all major football clubs, citing concerns that police would use the data to keep tabs on them. First division clubs are not too happy about fan cards either claiming that their introduction had led to a 30 per cent decrease in ticket sales.  You May LikeSUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Will Take Your Breath Away. Research 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsSUVs | Search AdsUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more