Second Greek-Cypriot Footballer Playing for Turkish Team

football-cyprusFollowing the announcement that Greek-Cypriot footballer Dimitris Vassiliou had signed on to play for Turkish-Cypriot football club Değirmenlik, a second Greek-Cypriot football player has now declared his intention of playing for the same team.

As the first Greek-Cypriot to sign with a Turkish-Cypriot team since 1955, Vassiliou was heavily criticized for his decision. He received death threats and lost his coaching position for the Omonoia Aradippou under-15 team.

A few weeks after Vassiliou’s announcement, a second Greek-Cypriot football player, Argiris Christofi, has decided to follow suite and sign on with Değirmenlik. “This is my life and I do what I want with it,” Christofi told the daily newspaper Yeni Duzen, adding that he didn’t think that playing for a Turkish-Cypriot team would cause him any problems. “I believe that football has the power to bring peace to the world,” he said.

The two Greek-Cypriots have started training with the team. Vassiliou is expected to make a match appearance this week.

The Cyprus Turkish Football Association (CFTA) and the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) signed an agreement in 2013, paving the way for the reunification of football on the island. Under the arrangement, the CTFA will become a member of the CFA as an association in accordance with CFA statutes and regulations. The CFA will continue being a member of FIFA and UEFA. It will also remain the governing body responsible for organizing football in Cyprus as well as any international football activities in the country.

The agreement will also oblige Turkish-Cypriot teams to adhere to FIFA regulations regarding transfers. They will be able take part in CFA competitions and the UEFA Regions Cup.