NICOSIA (Reuters) - The fallout from Anorthosis Famagusta’s abandoned Europa League match against Dila Gori continued when a fan who invaded the pitch was jailed for four months by a Cypriot court.
Anorthosis were expelled from the competition by European soccer’s governing body UEFA last week after the August 9 tie was called off on 82 minutes by Hungarian referee Mihaly Fabian with the Georgian team leading 3-0 on the night.
UEFA also fined the Cypriot team 50,000 euros and ordered them to play their next three UEFA club competition matches behind closed doors.
The game, the second leg of a third qualifying round tie, was awarded to Dila 3-0 and they will now face Maritimo of Portugal in the playoff round.
The 20-year-old fan was among a group of youths protesting at Anorthosis’s dismal showing at the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium in Larnaca.
He pleaded guilty to illegally entering the pitch, where he heckled the club’s Montenegran goalkeeper Srdjan Blazic, and to being drunk in public.
Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Anorthosis were already trailing by a goal in the return match when Dila skipper Lasha Salukvadze scored in the 78th minute to extend their advantage to 2-0 on the night, sparking four minutes of mayhem.
Moments after that second goal the Cypriots had midfielder Vincent Laban sent off before Dila’s Mate Vatsadze made it 3-0 to the visitors, leading to angry scenes in the stands and the match being abandoned.
Anorthosis were the first Cypriot team to qualify for the Champions League group stage in 2009. Rivals APOEL Nicosia reached the quarter-finals last season.
Editing by Tom Bartlett