CFA welcomes government aid

The Cyprus government is to give clubs on the island a €7m cash boost to help them balance the books.

Licensing system
The clubs had initially asked for a €9m injection, but a lesser amount was agreed after talks between government ministers and Cypriot Football Association (CFA) officials. The money will go a long way towards helping Cypriot clubs meet UEFA's club licensing criteria - the licensing system is due to be introduced from the 2004/05 season.

Book balancing
The CFA will channel the funds into all clubs needing to meet UEFA criteria regarding finances and book balancing. Meanwhile, the local federation has also launched a proposal to bring together Greek and Turkish Cypriot teams, players and referees after 29 years of separation.

Better co-operation
The plan, which was rubber-stamped last month at a meeting of the CFA and the Turkish-Cypriot football authorities, includes: invitations to Turkish Cypriot officials, coaches and referees to attend seminars organised by the CFA; a Turkish-Cypriot team participating in the Cypriot Futsal league; and a joint national side competing in international tournaments comprising teenage players from both communities on the island.