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Cypriot referees have launched an indefinite strike after an apparent arson attack on a car belonging to an official’s mother, the latest incident in a nearly decade-long campaign of terror.

The Cypriot Football Federation has suspended top-level matches in the country and declared its “unquestionable” support for the leaders, who are demanding improved security measures for themselves and their families.

Reports in Cyprus said a vehicle belonging to referee Menelaos Antoniou’s mother caught fire early Monday morning, with police confirming they were investigating the incident.

Antoniou had officiated a high-profile match between Limassol and Pafos on Sunday evening. The match between Salamina and Ethnikos, which was scheduled for Monday evening, was then postponed, with the CFA confirming an officials’ strike due to “repeated malicious actions” against referees.

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A CFA statement said the referees would step down from their duties “until further notice”. The statement said: “The CFA has received a letter from the adjudicators, stating that they have made this decision due to the continued attacks against them and their families, as well as the fact that no cases have been resolved by the competent authorities. authorities.

“The CFA once again expresses its deep concern about the repeated malicious actions and the creation of terrorism against our referees. Our support for the referees and their families is unquestionable and we hope that the perpetrators of these acts will be brought to justice through police investigations.

Monday’s incident is the latest in a long series of attacks. In June, the headquarters of the Cyprus Referees Association was bombed, while a car bomb placed on a referee’s vehicle in 2020 caused football to be suspended for a week.

Previous attacks date back to 2015, including another targeting the mother of a referee, with speculation that the cause of the attacks was linked to attempted match-fixing in Cypriot football.