Sabri given Cypriot citizenship

A Turkish-Cypriot footballer whose ground-breaking deal to play in the divided island’s south collapsed after it emerged that his mother was a mainland Turk will be able to continue his career in the Republic of Cyprus, which granted him Cypriot citizenship yesterday. Sabri Selden, 23, was denounced by the Turkish press as a traitor who sold out his country after abandoning his team in the occupied north, Morphou-based Binatli, for a lucrative contract with AEK Larnaca. He would have been the first Turkish Cypriot to play for a Greek-Cypriot side. «Based on the data at our disposal and having taken seriously into consideration the legal situation, as it was presented by the Attorney-General, the Cabinet decided to… grant Cypriot nationality to the footballer,» Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou told journalists after the Cabinet meeting. «The player’s father is a Turkish-Cypriot and his mother comes from Eski Sehir (in Turkey).» AEK had proposed to loan the player to another team, whose board resigned last week after it emerged that one of Sabri’s parents might have been a Turkish settler.

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