Sep
07

Car bombs, corruption and illegal betting – how football in Cyprus spiralled out of control

Thanasis Gavos   Wed, 7 Sep 2016; 07:36

It was the second of six bomb attacks and the one closest to home. The dynamite, packed into a pipe, exploded in the small hours just before dawn. There was no warning, no call. When the blast came it did what its perpetrators had intended it to do: it ripped off a large chunk of the back of the two–storey building that is the headquarters of the Association of Cyprus Referees.

Charalambos Skapoullis remembers the moment well. Avoiding the autumnal heat, he was already up and training on one of the Nicosia pitches when the call came through at 5.30am. “When I got here there were broken windows, shattered panes, smashed glass everywhere,” he recalls. “I looked around and thought: ‘This isn’t funny.’ It’s got to the point where this has to be the most dangerous place in the world to be a referee.”

Read the full article here.

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