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Cyprus

Inauguration of Cetinkaya stadium postponed

Εργασίες στο γήπεδο της Τσετίν Καγιά

The scheduled inauguration of the Cetinkaya football club in the UN-controlled buffer zone did not go ahead as planned due to ongoing works, reports from the north said on Friday.

The event was scheduled for Thursday afternoon during the visit of Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu, but was reportedly postponed.

Earlier this week it had been announced that the reconstruction works on the ‘Taksim’ used by Cetinkaya were completed and the stadium would open later this week.

Works started following an agreement between Unficyp, the Turkish Cypriot side, and Turkey in October. The stadium had been closed since 2014, when it was used for a special stage of the Cyprus International Rally.

The United Nations accepted the stadium be given back to Cetinkaya to use only for training.

As part of the works, grass was planted on the pitch, the pitch lines were reset, and nets were installed.

However, it appeared that some disagreements developed between the Turkish Cypriot side and Unficyp over the works. Reports said peacekeepers had blocked workers from the northern Nicosia municipality taking down barbed wires.

Kibris newspaper had reported the incident where peacekeepers blocked the attempts to remove the wires that blocked the entrance from the Cetinkaya sports club to the field in the UN buffer zone.

In light of this, a small ceremony was held on Thursday with Kasapoglu, ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel, and the head of the football club Suleyman Yemen, who said the pitch was now open for the use of young people.

Kasapoglu said that the pitch, which was used for javelin competitions during the Ottoman period, as had an important position among the Turkish Cypriot people for years.

He added that despite problems as the pitch is in the buffer zone further arrangements would be made to have tennis and basketball courts set up there, after football.

On his part, Ustel said that the Greek Cypriot side did not tolerate the field being created, despite it being used for youth sporting activities.

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