New bombing targets Cyprus referee

A bomb exploded outside the home of a Cypriot referee on Friday, little more than a month after a similar attack prompted match officials to go on strike.

AFP| Updated: Feb 27, 2015, 17:40 PM IST
New bombing targets Cyprus referee

Nicosia: A bomb exploded outside the home of a Cypriot referee on Friday, little more than a month after a similar attack prompted match officials to go on strike.

Police said the homemade pipe bomb was placed under the car of the wife of first division referee Vassilis Demetriou, 38.

The car was parked outside the couple`s home in Aradippou, near the southern resort town of Larnaca, when the bomb went off at 3:50 am (0150 GMT).

Police said extensive damage was caused to the vehicle and a neighbouring property but nobody was hurt.

"It seems the motive of the assailants is linked to the professional activity of the husband," police spokesman Charalambos Zachariou told reporters.

He said the referee had received no threats before the bombing.

Cyprus Referees Association official Constantinos Skaboullis told state radio said it was the fifth incident in less than a year in which a referee had been attacked. 

He did not rule out the association taking strike action as it did in January.

The Cyprus Football Association condemned the "cowardly bomb attack aimed at terrorising all referees".

"Such acts of terror put lives at risk and harm the football family," it said.

Last month`s bombing struck outside the home of a referee`s 60-year-old mother in the island`s second city Limassol. 

She escaped unharmed but all league and cups games were suspended for a week as match officials went on strike.

Last season, referees went on strike in the first weekend of March 2014 after a bomb was planted under the car of top referee Leontios Trattos.