NEWS

Green Line soon set to turn white

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Greek and Turkish Cypriots are taking their new rapprochement to the soccer pitch in March for their first match in 40 years. Two fixtures have been scheduled north and south of the divide in Nicosia in March and May. «In the present climate, this is an excellent opportunity for teams to play,» Cyprus Football Association head Costakis Koutsokoumnis told Reuters. Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot first-division teams have not met since 1954, when the latter pulled out of the Cyprus Football Association because of the political strife. «Anything that brings the two communities together is very welcome,» said UN spokesman Brian Kelly. Koutsokoumnis said security was an important element at the games, tentatively slated to take place at the GSP stadium in south Nicosia and the Kemal Ataturk arena in the north. Many Turkish Cypriots have ventured south since last year to watch first-division matches without any problems being reported. Although Greek-Cypriot, teams like Omonia Nicosia and AEL Limassol enjoy support among Turkish Cypriots.