Cyprus football associations closer t...

Cyprus football associations closer to reunification deal

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Since: Mar 10

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#1 Jan 17, 2013
17 January 2013 / AP, NICOSIA,

Officials from both sides of ethnically split Cyprus say they are closer to a deal that would reunify rival football organizations and allow Turkish Cypriots to play internationally.
"There's light at the end of the tunnel" for an agreement," Greek Cyprus Football Association President Costas Koutsokoumnis said on Thursday after talks with Turkish Cypriot Football Association counterpart Hasan Sertoglu.
"We agree on most points, but we need to package them in a way that other people will accept them," Koutsokoumnis said.
Koutsokoumnis said he will meet again with Sertoglu at FIFA headquarters in Zurich in March in hopes of finalizing the deal.
FIFA official Primo Corvaro who attended the meeting at the Turkish Cypriot Association's headquarters, said the two sides are looking to hammer out an in-principle agreement in Zurich that will be followed up by additional meetings between officials from both sides to figure out how the deal would work.
Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey intervened after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.
Only the Greek Cyprus FA, in the island's south, is recognized by FIFA.
Football is the most popular sport on both sides of the divide and an agreement would be a boon for Turkish Cypriots who have languished in isolation for decades. By contrast, Greek Cypriot clubs have recently marked notable international successes, including former champion APOEL's stunning run last year to the Champions League quarter finals.
Turkish Cypriots formed their own association in 1955 amid a flare-up of ethnic tensions during a Greek Cypriot uprising against British colonial rule at the time.
Numerous efforts to reunify the federations over the years have stumbled over the country's complex politics. A key reason has been a Turkish Cypriot reluctance to accept the authority of the Cyprus FA, a necessary precondition because FIFA doesn't accept two associations in one country.
If a deal is reached, it would stand in stark contrast to the latest round of talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriot political leaders aimed at reunifying the country which have stalled.
Koutsokoumnis said both sides would stand to benefit from reunifying football.

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#2 Jan 17, 2013
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#3 Jan 21, 2013
President Dervis Eroglu’s Special Representative Osman Ertug has warned against the ongoing negotiations between the Cyprus Turkish and the Greek Cypriot Football Federations. Ertug expressed the need for being careful while continuing the discussions. Speaking at a TV program Ertug said ‘It seems that the negotiations between the two federations are continuing towards an agreement, but the issue should be evaluated in a broader perspective. This is an issue beyond football’.
Referring to the words by the Head of the Greek Cypriot Footbal Federation in which he said that this is only football and they are not dealing with politics, Osman Ertug said these words are even politics.
‘Every country has a sports policies. This policy is not contrary to its foreign policy’ Ertug said and warned that it will be wrong if this agreement brings Cyprus Turks under the responsibility of Greek Cypriot Football Federation or any other structuring, because this is contrary to the Cyprus Turkish Side’s national Cyprus policy and the national sports policy.
Also referring to the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser Alexander Downer’s recent visit to Cyprus, Ertug said that the aim of the Special Adviser’s visit to Cyprus was to see the latest phase reached at works being carried out by technical committees and to consider steps that would be taken after the presidential elections in South Cyprus.
He also underlined that the Cyprus Turkish Side does not want to try the same methods that were tried and failed many times in the past.
Also touching upon the report that will be presented to the UN Security Council in March, Ertug said the UN Security Council and the Secretary General will take a stance after the elections in South Cyprus and added that the Cyprus Turkish side hopes for the relaunching of the negotiations process with new conditions and a new timetable.
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#4 Jan 21, 2013
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#5 Jan 21, 2013
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#6 Jan 21, 2013
President Dervis Eroglu evaluated the meetings that are taking place between the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation and the Greek Cypriot football federation.
President Dervis Eroglu evaluated the meeting that has taken place between the football federations in Cyprus and answered journalists questions on the issue.
The President is quoted as saying that he is not against dialogue being established between the two federations but added that ‘what’s important is that our friends know what they want and act accordingly while they are meeting’.
‘I trust the President of the TRNC Football Federation Hasan Sertoglu and I know he will put forward the views of the federation and his people’ said the President and added that the Greek Cypriot Federation was not the only choice of the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation to open up to Europe.
‘Maybe in the future when an agreement has been reached in Cyprus, the two federations will be able to act separately’ said the President but added that currently an agreement was not present and TRNC sportsmen being subjected to embargoes in the field of sports in a crime against humanity.

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