The Cyprus Football Association (KOP/CFA) and Cyprus Turkish Football Association (CTFA) have signed a provisional arrangement for football in Cyprus, which aims to unify and facilitate the game's progress on the Mediterranean island after more than five decades of separation.
The arrangement, which has come to fruition following several months of consultation and discussion, was signed on Tuesday at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich by the KOP/CFA president Costakis Koutsokoumnis, CTFA president Hasan Sertoğlu, FIFA President Joseph Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini.
A number of principles govern the arrangement. The signatories pledge to respect fully the FIFA and UEFA statutes and all international sport principles. Under the arrangement, the KOP/CFA, as a member of FIFA and UEFA, is deemed the governing body responsible for organising, administering and controlling football in Cyprus, as well as the body responsible for any international football activities in Cyprus.
In addition, the agreement concerns only football-related matters, does not set any precedent for the Cypriot political issue, and remains provisional until a solution is found in relation to Cyprus, which has been partitioned since 1974. The arrangement comes into force upon the approval of the KOP/CFA and CTFA general assemblies.
"Today is a historic day for football in Cyprus, but also for the Cypriot people in general," said Mr Koutsokoumnis. "After 60 years of separation, it is now possible to reunite football. The fact we have got to this stage, under the auspices of FIFA and UEFA, and drawn up and signed a road map for a united Cypriot football gives us all hope that we can solve all the issues that lie ahead, provided the good will shown until now continues.
"To our Turkish Cypriot friends, I say that they have gained from our reunification," he added. "Our warmest thanks to President Blatter for his crucial role today, to President Platini, to the Turkish Cypriot delegation, with whom we shall be meeting with more often from now, and the CFA members delegation for the support they have shown me."
"We live in a world in which it is more difficult to unite than to divide, which means that today is all the more exceptional," said Mr Platini. "It is a historic moment for Cypriot football, and I would like to congratulate the presidents of the two associations, who have shown exemplary courage and perseverance."
"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 Mr Blatter. "I would like to thank both associations and UEFA for their outstanding contribution to this milestone arrangement."
A number of provisions are to be implemented under the arrangement. The CTFA will become a member of the KOP/CFA as an association, in accordance with the KOP/CFA statutes and regulations, with all clubs registered under the CTFA automatically becoming indirect members of the KOP/CFA. The KOP/CFA will also recognise the CTFA's competences over CTFA football matters, including the right to organise championships among its members in accordance with FIFA and UEFA statutes and regulations.
Both associations agree to set up a steering committee to work for the implementation of the arrangement, and covering areas such as participation in KOP/CFA competitions; development programmes offered by FIFA and UEFA; club friendly and friendly international matches; participation in the UEFA Regions' Cup; UEFA coaching licence system for Turkish-Cypriot coaches; refereeing, match observers and international referees.
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