Two MP from the North Cyprus National Assembly attended a PACE meeting in Paris on 22 May.
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) deputy Mehmet Caglar and deputy for the National Unity Party (UBP) Erdal Ozcenk were present a meeting organised by the PACE Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media in Paris on Monday.
The topic “Football, a mirror of society, needs good governance” was discussed.
Participants at the hearing included officials from FIFA, UEFA, EPFL, FIFPRO, ECA, OECD, UNESCO and SIGA.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’, Stefan Schennech, Austrian MP for the Socialist Group, argued that some people, who live in countries that had political problems are unable to participate in international sports. He gave North Cyprus as an example, where TRNC football teams cannot have any international contact. He asked what will the future hold for sports in countries with such problems.
Then, Caglar told the Committee about “the de facto situation in Cyprus, the history of the football federation since 1950, and despite all the international initiatives taken by the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation (KTFF), they could not even have a friendly soccer game with any football team of another country or to participate in international competitions”.
Caglar further argued that it is a very good thing that Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot football teams can compete against each other in sports, but it is contrary to the spirit of sports and football that the Turkish Cypriot football teams cannot play international games.
This problem should be solved, Caglar said, adding that sports should contribute to the development of peoples’ relations and this isolation should be ended.
The PACE MPs, noting that this problem is unacceptable, said that they could not understand it and this issue would be discussed again.