Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Excellent news: A Turkish Cypriot will be in Cyprus First Division football this year

Alki F.C, a club in Larnaka, Cyprus, has done something that was obvious but for many clubs unthinkable: they signed a Turkish Cypriot player on a 1+1 contract. This is not the first time a club has done it: Salamina has a Turkish Cypriot Player in 2004, but sadly that did not seem to create a momentum of more footballing integration.

In a league were all the clubs have left or right political leanings there seems to be a reluctance to admit that we prefer paying huge sums of money to bring foreign has-beens rather that look for great talent in our Fellow Cypriots. This is of course true for Greek Cypriots, but even more so for Turkish Cypriots, who play in a league that is unrecognised, and whose salaries are equivalent to third division football.

The truth be told, because of the political nature of Cyprus football, and hence by extension of the Cyprus Football Federation, there was always somewhat uncomfortable to admit Turkish Cypriots in the league: In 1951 Çetinkaya Türk Spor Kulübü took the championship, and followed its dominance with two more cups and super cups before being kicked out from the Cypriot league in 1955.

To be fair the league also kicked out a lot of left leaning clubs earlier in 1948 so it is not that such actions targeted just Turkish Cypriots, but anyone who did not agree with the nationalistic attitudes of the Football league.

Mustafa Yaşınses is exactly one of these talented players that Cypriot clubs can shop from the Turkish Cypriot league. Having played his football at KÜÇÜK KAYMAKLI, he can now prove with his game that there are many Turkish Cypriots whose talent is not recognised which could be very good deals for the clubs that are struggling for finances. It is just a shame that such a move can really be undertaken by the left leaning clubs, as many of the nationalist clubs would consider such a move an outrage (shame on them!). I wish Mustafa the very best and hope he can be a beacon for all young Cypriot talent.

Now its time for the Cyprus Football league to step up to the plate and show that Turkish Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot teams will be treated like anyone else should they chose to join, as it has been telling UEFA for years.


Anonymous said...

Indeed an interesting article. I agree, good luck to Mustafa. However, there is the wider issue of why Turkish Cypriot clubs are still embargoed and barred from even participating in friendly football matches. This is an excellent article and I congratulate the author for writing about this. As you rightly state, the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation was formed prior the formation of the Republic's constitution in 1960. Politics should never come into sport. In fact it can help people come together and celebrate success.

Alexander Apostolides said...

Well FIFA has a very a political view of football (which is correct) and hence it stays away from conflict. As far as i am aware the Cyprus football federation has offered a compromise that would allow an authority nominally under the CFF, but it was refused. There was a rumour that A team from Lefka / LEFKE also tried to join the football league and T/C politic pressure apparently forced it not to go ahead.