UK & World News
Cyprus: Firecracker Injures Footballer
A Colombian footballer and team medical staff were left writhing in pain after a powerful firecracker exploded inches from their faces during a match in Cyprus.
Ricardo Laborde, who plays for Anorthosis Famagusta in the Cypriot first division, was being treated for an injury during the match against rivals Omonia Nicosia on Sunday.
As he lay prone on the pitch with medical staff attending to his injury, the firecracker was thrown from a section of Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium housing the Omonia Niscosia fans.
The device exploded close to the player, leaving several people writhing on the ground clutching their faces or holding their ears.
Police said investigators were looking through CCTV footage to track down the culprit. So far, no-one has been arrested.
Miraculously, no-one was seriously injured and the game continued after a 10-minute delay for treatment.
Anorthosis, which is currently joint top in the division with AEL Larnaca, also denounced some of its own fans for lighting flares during the game.
The club urged police in a statement on Monday to carry out more checks on fans entering stadiums.
Anorthosis Famagusta went on to win the match 2-0.
It comes after an explosive device was thrown on to the pitch during an Asian Champions League quarter-final between Iranian side Sepahan and Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia in September.
Sepahan midfielder Adel Kolahkaj had picked up the device and thrown it off the pitch, when it then exploded.