FIFA hail ‘landmark’ agreement for soccer in Cyprus

A provisional arrangement for the organization of football in the divided island of Cyprus was agreed between the Cyprus FA (CFA) and the Cyprus Turkish Football Association (CTFA) on Tuesday, FIFA said.

“The arrangement, which is based on the FIFA and UEFA statutes and only concerns football-related matters, aims to unify and facilitate the progress of football within the football communities on the island of Cyprus through a relationship based on trust, mutual respect and goodwill,” soccer’s governing body said in a statement.

Cyprus has been divided into Greek and Turkish parts since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish invasion of the north in 1974.

Turkey keeps some 30,000 troops in the north and is the only nation to recognize the self-declared state.

FIFA hailed Tuesday’s agreement in Zurich as a “major milestone.” Under the new arrangement, the CTFA becomes a member of the CFA as an association in accordance with the CFA’s statutes and regulations.

“Both the Cyprus Football Association and the Cyprus Turkish Football Association are today providing the whole world with an excellent example of how football can build bridges and bring people together after a long period of conflict,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter. [Reuters]

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