Embargo unfair on TRNC youth football teams: Laporta

Joan Laporta, (L) a lawyer representing Fashion TV and former president of the dynamic Spanish football team Barcelona speaking at a press conference in Kyrenia said he supports the continuing efforts to merge Cyprus’ two football associations. Hasan Sertoglu head of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation was also present.

The press conference was held in order for Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktas to announce a deal to promote tourism in the TRNC which was concluded between the North and Fashion TV, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.

Last year the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) and the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation (KTTF) signed an historical temporary agreement in Zurich which would enable the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation become a member of the CFA as an association in accordance with CFA rules. An application from the KKTF for membership of the CFA is currently pending.

At the onset of EOKA’s armed struggle for union with Greece, Turkish Cypriot football teams left the CFA in 1955 and formed their own association.

The former Barcelona president commented that it was “unfair” that Turkish Cypriot youth teams are not permitted to compete against other countries.

Laporta said moreover a friendly football game between the North and Catalonia could and should be organised.

‘Cyprus Mail’ comments that the 54-year-old lawyer and former politician’s references to“northern Cyprus” would be unwelcome by staunch fans of Nicosia club Apoel ahead of their Wednesday opener against FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.

Laporta reportedly went on to say that “northern Cyprus” and Catalonia, both share the same objective – independence and should be treated no differently than Scotland, which holds a vote on Thursday to decide whether to break away from the United Kingdom.

The Catalans themselves are planning a November referendum to vote on independence from Spain.

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