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Cyprus

Deal to reunite football on the island to be finalised by summer

From left: Hasan Sertoglu, French Ambassador Jean-Luc Florent and Costakis Koutsokoumnis

Cyprus Football Association (CFA) president Costakis Koutsokoumnis expects the deal with the Turkish Cypriot Football Association (CTFA) to reunite football on the island to be finalised by the summer.

Koutsokoumnis was speaking at an event hosted by French Ambassador Jean-Luc Florent, on Wednesday evening in honour of the agreement.

Koutsokoumnis reaffirmed his commitment to carry on the process and overcome difficulties. He reminded that the  arrangement was about sports and not about politics.

He said the friendship and mutual trust between both associations and their teams facilitated the conclusion of the arrangement. He said he expected the process to be finalised during the summer.

CTFA president Hasan Sertoglu, stressed “the sincere will of both sides” to unite Cyprus football. Political problems should not hamper the process, he said. Sertoglu proposed that in the near future, Turkish Cypriots play in the Cypriot national team and that Greek Cypriot players participate in Turkish Cypriot teams, with local players status, and not as foreigners.

Representatives of more than 20 embassies, mostly at ambassador’s level attended the reception, along with UN, EU and European Parliament officials.

In his address, Ambassador Florent commended the arrangement that the two football associations concluded last November in Zurich to reunite Cypriot football. He congratulated both Koutsokoumnis and Sertoglu for their leadership and their courage and encouraged them to continue their efforts for the implementation of the arrangement.

Florent underlined the important societal aspect of the process which aimed at unifying Cypriot football and giving Cypriot youth, and the entire population of Cyprus, the opportunity to reunite around sports.

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