FIFA Hails 'Landmark' Agreement To Help Unify Football In Cyprus
FIFA said that a provisional arrangement for the organization of football in "the divided island" of Cyprus was "agreed between" the Cyprus FA and the Cyprus Turkish FA on Tuesday, according to Kieran Barry of REUTERS. FIFA said in a statement, "The arrangement, which is based on the FIFA and UEFA statutes and only concerns football-related matters, aims to unify and facilitate the progress of football within the football communities on the island of Cyprus through a relationship based on trust, mutual respect and goodwill." Cyprus "has been divided into Greek and Turkish parts" since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish invasion of the north in '74. FIFA hailed Tuesday's agreement in Zurich as a "major milestone" (REUTERS, 11/5). BLOOMBERG's Paul Tugwell reported the CTFA "will be a member of the CFA, which will be responsible for organizing local soccer and for international activities in all of Cyprus." FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in the statement the agreement is an “excellent example of how football can build bridges and bring people together after a long period of conflict” (BLOOMBERG, 11/5). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw reported both sides "agreed to set up a steering committee to work towards implementing the arrangement which will give Turkish Cypriots a far greater say in the running of the game than they have ever had since separation." Earlier this year, the leaders of the respective federations announced that "they were closer than ever to burying their differences after decades of division." In what was described as a crucial breakthrough that could "pave the way for ultimate integration, the two sides set out a roadmap for a deal that will have ramifications far beyond fans on both sides of the island" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 11/5).