Cyprus Mail

Football association, defence ministry reach solution on military service for athletes

national guard swearing in 2021 960x720
File photo: national guard (by Christos Theodorides)

The defence ministry and football association reached an agreement on Monday over sportsmen who are serving in the army but need time for training and games.

Parents and athletes alike were furious last week over a defence ministry order sent to all army units, calling for an immediate end to all facilitation for those serving in the army that needed to take part in any football games or competitions.

It specified the reason for this is because championships are over for this season.

The order specified guardsmen would not be allowed any flexibility when game season was over and those in the army would only have their regularly permitted exits.

However, all involved parties agreed that with confirmation from their football team or the Cyprus sports association, the necessary flexibility would be provided. Time off would also be allowed if there were international games in Cyprus or abroad.

Not finding a solution would have meant major obstacles to the career of aspiring footballers currently serving in the army, the football association said.

Two footballers, Andronikos Kakoullis and Andreas Christodoulou also attended, with the former giving the defence minister a signed Apoel shirt.

Last week, the defence ministry opened up to the possibility of exempting race car driver Vladimiros Tziortzis from his compulsory military service.

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