The 2nd Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) Euro Cup 2017, which gathers the national teams of countries and regions that are not members of International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), kicked off this weekend, hosted by the TRNC.
The opening ceremony of 2nd CONIFA Euro Cup 2017 Championship, which is organised under the slogan ‘Freedom to Play Football,’ was held in Lefkoşa Atatürk Stadium on Sunday evening.
In his opening speech, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation (CTFF) Hasan Sertoğlu, welcomed all the participating teams. He added that the 2nd CONIFA Euro Cup 2017 would be a chance to show that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is equal to any of the UEFA and FIFA member countries and to highlight what can be achieved if the opportunity is given to Turkish Cypriots.
CONIFA European President Alberto Rischio thanked the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation for providing such high standards, and said that the tournament proved that all restrictions and obstacles can be overcome.
CONIFA World President Per Anders Blind said that CONIFA is a very special platform because it is a unique opportunity to showcase a diverse cultural heritage and the principle of friendship to the world.
In his speech, Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün underlined that such an organization has great significance for the youth of the TRNC. He added “We are a generation who have lived for many years with the bitterness of our young people because they have been denied the friendship, brotherhood and peace structure of sports due to the mentality of the Greek Cypriots.”
Özgürgün added that the sports embargoes imposed on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and its youth are a violation of human rights and a shame on humanity.
TRNC Foreign Ministry