Cyprus gets tough on fan violence at sporting events

A man walks outside of the burnt public bus office next of the athletic complex in Nicosia, on Wednesday, March 29. [AP]

Cyprus' justice minister has unveiled a host of measures to combat fan violence at sporting events, including pre-game drug and alcohol tests, increased body searches and tougher policing.

The measures come days after opposing fans at a basketball playoff game between rivals Anorthosis and Apollon fought inside and outside the Tassos Papadopoulos stadium in the capital Nicosia, setting fire to public transport offices outside the venue.

Justice Minister Anna Koukkides-Procopiou on Wednesday said the government will introduce legal amendments enabling police to administer drug and alcohol tests to suspected users ahead of sporting events.

Police will intensify searches of fans entering venues while bans for convicted offenders will be raised to a maximum of 10 years.

A dedicated riot squad will be tasked with exclusively policing sporting and other "high...

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