World football's governing body FIFA has offered an interim deal to the Turkish Cypriot Football Association that could allow Turkish Cypriot teams to stage friendly international matches.
FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA announced on Thursday that an offer had been made following a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot FA (CTFA) "with a view to improving relations between the football communities on the island of Cyprus".
FIFA did not disclose any further details but CTFA chairman Omer Adali told Reuters the proposal would allow friendly matches to be played against foreign teams as well as sides from the Greek Cypriot part of the divided island.
"This is an interim measure prior to a solution to the Cyprus problem," Adali told Reuters by telephone.
"To play in formal competitions you have to be a member of FIFA. The only way would be to join the Greek Cypriot league, but we are not willing to do this. Therefore we would only be able to play friendly matches under this proposal."
The offer still has to be accepted by CTFA and Adali said this would "not be an easy decision".
Turkish Cypriot teams were involved in the founding of the Cypriot FA in 1934 but withdrew from the island's unified league in 1955 after hostilities against Turkish Cypriot communities worsened.
Turkish Cypriot teams and players have since been unable to participate in official international matches.
FIFA's articles only allow associations from independent states "recognised by the international community" to become members and accepts only one association for each country.
The Turkish Cypriot FA has rejected calls to join the Greek Cypriot FA, because the body does not represent their region.
Last Mod: 03 Ağustos 2008, 13:06