The intolerance that Greek Cypriots living abroad have demonstrated against a humanitarian and entirely peaceful activity such as sports is of great concern.

The Turkish Cypriot national football team is entitled to participate in the 2018 ‘’Paddy Power’’ World Soccer Cup competition which will be organized in London between 31st May – 9th June. However, the Greek Cypriot diaspora, which cannot tolerate our National football team taking part in such a sporting activity, is attempting to prevent our team’s participation by sending letters or undertaking other similarly obstructive initiatives. We consider this approach as highly disrespectful towards the Turkish Cypriot people.

Such a mentality of displaying intolerance towards or attempting to obstruct our participation in an activity organized by the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) does not serve any purpose other than to further deepen the distrust between the two communities.

The Greek Cypriot political leadership, which claims to have the desire to establish a partnership with us, should not support such initiatives, but should rather take the necessary measures to end such obsolete approaches attempting to suppress our people, particularly our youngsters.

It is obvious that in order to ensure any healthy and peaceful relationship between the two sides, there is a need for a change of mentality, not only in terms of the negotiation chapters regarding the Cyprus issue, but also in terms of humanitarian issues such as this. We expect all international actors, particularly the United Kingdom, which always expresses its support towards a solution and a trust-based relationship between the two sides, not to tolerate such senseless and archaic behaviors