On August 21, Friday, the United Democratic Youth Organisation (EDON) of Cyprus called for the safe and fair conduct of this year’s pan-Cyprian First Division football championship (Cyta Championship 2020-21), which started on Thursday. The opening match of the championship between Ethnikos Achnas and Enosis Neon Paralimniou was called off on Thursday after two Ethnikos players tested positive for COVID-19. EDON has demanded the authorities and the government ensure the safety of the players and other officials. They have also demanded prevention of corruption, entanglement, red envelopes and match-fixing in this year’s tournament.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, several other obstacles are in the way for the smooth conduct of this year’s tournament. According to the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA), the Stadium Licensing Authority has informed them that four first-class stadiums have not yet secured a safety certificate for conducting matches. This is likely to affect the fixture of the matches in the tournament.
In its statement on Friday, EDON stated, “We will continue to fight for the amendment of the legislation for the prevention of violence in the stadiums, and in particular, against the provisions that make it a terror. We clearly stand against the staged conflict, violence and hooliganism, and we call on the state to invest in transparency, prevention and education and not in repression. At the same time, we demand that all the unresolved issues so far, such as the issue of the final licensing of stadiums, be resolved immediately so that the Cypriot football championship can start with as few difficulties as possible”.
This year’s Cypriot First Division is the 82nd season of the top-level football league in Cyprus, conducted by the Cyprus Football Association (CFA). Last year’s league (2019-20) had started in August 2019 but was abandoned on May 15, 2020, without awarding the title due to the COVID-19 pandemic.