Joining KOP undermines political struggle

President of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation (KTFF) Hasan Sertoglu has said that statements made by Denktas and Ozgurgun are laughable.

On Monday, Sertoglu drew harsh criticism from Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktas and UPB leader of the opposition Huseyin Ozgurgun over the KTFF’s application to join the Cyprus Football Association (KOP).

Sertoglu noted, however, that he had no personal quarrel with Turkish Football Federation boss Demiroren, what had angered the KTFF was its unequal treatment.

He added that they would be sending a letter to the presidential candidates and asking them if they are voted in what would be their positions on this issue.

Meanwhile Serdar Denktas, who is also Minister of Economy, Tourism, Culture and Sports noted that they will re-examine their relations with the KTFF to which they allocate a “significant part” of the sports ministry budget. “Our ministry is determined to freeze its relations with the KTFF as long as the process continues”.

Huseyin Ozgurgun, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), said that KTFF joining KOP will not benefit Turkish Cypriot football. In a written statement, he said that the move would undermine the struggle of the Turkish Cypriot people. He also poured blame on the coalition government for not solving the financial problems of the clubs, saying that it was equally responsible for this outcome.

President Dervis Eroglu said that he had discussed the issue with Sertoglu and told him that the federation cannot join KOP, since it contravenes its statute and regulations. Noting that an amendment may be needed to the statute and the regulations for joining KOP, Eroglu expressed the view that the KTFF cannot join KOP before taking the necessary steps within its own structure.

He also argued that “joining KOP will bring no benefit to Turkish Cypriot football”. The president said that the federation and the clubs must consider this carefully, especially at a time when the Cyprus talks will intensify.

He stated: “As far as I know, anyway the church does not allow the Greek Cypriot clubs to play matches in the North. The chairman of KOP made a speech to convince his clubs to cooperate with the Turks. In his speech he said that ‘with this move I prevented the Kosovo example being implemented by the Turks’. This must have escaped the majority of the sporting editors. I cannot say that I see any sincerity in the Greek Cypriots”.

Kibris Postasi and Kibris Gazetesi

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