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Referees strike

Sunday, March 02, 2014

NICOSIA - Football referees in Cyprus decided yesterday to go on strike in protest at a bomb attack on one of their colleagues, scrapping all matches this weekend.

The car of referee Leontios Trattos was badly damaged in the blast at around 2:45am outside his home in a suburb of the capital Nicosia, police said.

There were no casualties in the explosion, believed to have been detonated by remote control.

"The Cyprus Football Association (CFA) condemns in the strongest possible way this attack and expresses its shame," said the island's governing body for football.

"Such acts of terror only aim to exert psychological violence against our match officials and blight our football family."

Trattos is an international official who has refereed World Cup and European Championship qualifiers as well as Europa League matches.

The strike affects all CFA fixtures from the first division through the lower leagues down to youth level football.

The referees association said they had to take a stand against such an unprecedented and violent act against one of their own — and their chairman.

The CFA issued a statement saying it supported the action as the attack went "beyond the bounds of reason".

The association, which said postponed matches will be played on March 8-9, urged police to clamp down on efforts to pressure top flight referees.

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