Sunday, 16 May 2010

Cyprus Cup Final

Yesterday was also the Cyprus Cup final, played between Apoel, from Nicosia, and Apollon from Limassol. Apollon won it 2 - 1. A disagreeable result for Apoel who have finished second to Omonia in the League.
Apoel's fans are probably the worst behaved in Cyprus, and could give some of the Dutch,  Italian and/or German nutters a run for their money.  They call themselves 'Ultras'. Consequently the Cyprus FA banned Apoel from playing matches at home. Moreover, there is a traditional rivalry between Limassol and Nicosia pretty much like there is between Liverpool and Manchester. So the game was played at the AEK stadium in Larnaca. The game kicked off at 19:00 Cyprus time.
El Presidente and I didn't attend the match, nor were we particularly interested in it. We were invited to dinner at El Prez's cousin Tasos' house, where we sat down to a splendid meal outdoors on their patio. However, their house is just round the corner from AEK's stadium which was mildly entertaining as we could hear the roar of the crowd and see the smoke of the hooligans' flares drifting across the sky. But when the match finished, things became a bit ugly as the Apoel fans left the ground and the police over-reacted a tad by firing tear gas. Of course, tear gas is impartial and the breeze gently blew it into Tasos' back garden, thereby spoiling our dinner. By jimminy that stuff is vicious and stings a bit when it gets in your eyes, I can tell you. So we hastily retreated indoors with our grub, parked the cars out of sight and closed all the doors and windows.
The police kept all the Apollon fans in the stadium until after all the Apoel mobs had dispersed, and meanwhile there was a ceremony in which The Cup was presented. This was followed by an extravagant fireworks display using 15 megaton rib-rattling pyrotechnical devices which gave us some unexpected after-dinner entertainment. Apparently, most of the Larnaca police force was deployed to ensure order was maintained - I suggested to Tasos that perhaps yesterday evening might have been a good time to rob the bank!
Update: 24 hours later and my eyes are still sore from the tear gas. Should I sue PC Plodolopoulos?

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