The Cypriot football referees declared an indefinite strike on Monday after arsonists set on fire a car belonging to the mother of a referee earlier in the day, the Cyprus Referees Association (CRA) said in a statement.
Following this development, the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) suspended soccer fixtures, starting with a game which was scheduled for Monday night.
Cyprus’s football has been plagued for several years by actions against referees, including numerous bomb attacks and other actions against the properties of individual referees and the premises of their Association in June last year.
CRA demanded that CFA and the government take security measures to address the issue of ongoing violence against referees.
They also condemned the fact that none of the numerous bomb attack cases against referees has been resolved by the authorities.
Monday’s arson targeted the car of the mother of referee Menelaos Antoniou, who officiated a high-profile soccer match on Sunday night. The car was parked outside her house in a Nicosia suburb.
CFA issued a statement expressing deep concern over repeated malicious actions against referees and the creation of “an atmosphere of terror aimed at our referees.”
“The organization reaffirms its support for the referees and their families, hoping that the perpetrators will be brought to justice through the ongoing police investigations,” the CFA statement said.
It added that CFA is actively working to arrange meetings with the referees and relevant government authorities to discuss matters related to the safety of referees.
CFA had suspended football fixtures for a week in January, 2020, after a bomb attack against the car of a referee.
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