Cyprus Problem | Cyprus Football Finally Unified Under South

Cyprus Problem – Cyprus Football Finally Unified Under South

On Friday 29th November 2013, the Turkish Cypriot football federation (CTFA) gave its unanimous approval for the unification of football in Cyprus. I wish the Cyprus Problem was as easy to solve. All 42 active clubs in the north supported the move, which will be a major set back for TRNC Deputy Prime Minister, Sedar Denktas, who opposed the unification on the grounds that it put the north’s clubs under the control of the south. He believes it somehow weakens the north’s bargaining power in solving the Cyprus Problem

Following the vote, Hasan Sertoğlu, The President of the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation, said:

“The unanimity shows how the football clubs are approaching the issue. It also shows their confidence to the federation. This is a beginning, but we will walk on the path together.”

Steps to implement the deal, approved by the Greek Cypriot Football Federation last week, will start at the beginning of 2014.  Meanwhile, there will be a transition committee composed of eight members, four from for each side of the Green Line, which will be responsible for implementing the deal.

As a result of the deal the north’s clubs will be able to compete in European tournaments, as long as they qualify by finishing in the top places of the unified top Cyprus league, I assume. More importantly, they will also be authorized to organize friendlies with clubs from other countries, which was previously banned because embargos.

A lot of work will be needed to bring the north’s football pitches up to international standards, which can’t be a bad thing. But then, that could be said of many sectors in the north. It will also be interesting following the matches between north and south teams to see how nationalist Greek Cypriot football fans accept defeat on the football pitch.

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