Friday, 23 November 2012

Two Cypriot associations restart talks after four years

Signs of a breakthrough in the impasse between the two football associations in Cyprus are finally emerging.

For the first time since early 2008, the Cyprus Turkish Football Association (CTFA) representing the clubs in the unrecognised breakaway state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have met with officials from the Greek-dominated Cyprus Football Association.

The CTFA delegation was led by president Hasan Sertoğlu (pictured left) and met a CFA delegation at Limassol in the Republic of Cyprus. Muharrem Özseyfiler, the CTFA general secretary, said: “The two delegations met each other and exchanged views and ideas, and decided to meet again next December.”

The CTFA delegation also included head of external relations Orçun Kamalı (pictured right), legal adviser and CTFA appeal committee vice-president Hasan Balman, and former FIFA head of international relations Jerome Champagne, who is advising the CTFA,

The CFA delegation was led by president Costakis Koutsokoumnis and also featured deputy president Koumas Georghios, first vice-president Harıs Loizides and second vice president Nicos Nicolaou.

At the last talks, the CTFA was offered a chance to join the CFA but Turkish Cypriot officials were concerned that this would make the organisation subsidiary to the CFA, which was founded in 1934 and joined FIFA in 1948 – a dozen years before the then British colony achieved independence.

As conflict between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities grew in the run-up to independence, the Turkish Cypriot clubs split away in 1955 and have played separately ever since. The CTFA league features 48 clubs, who are unable to play games against any sides outside the TRNC.

No comments: