Soccer-Greek and Turkish Cypriot officials to meet for talks

BERNE Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:54am BST

BERNE Oct 18 (Reuters) - Greek and Turkish Cypriot officials will meet at FIFA next month to discuss the future of soccer on the divided island, the two sides said on Friday.

The two sides issued simultaneous statements saying they had been invited by FIFA president Sepp Blatter to discuss and finalise a "provisional arrangement for football in Cyprus" which would be based on the FIFA and UEFA statutes.

"It is expected that at the end of the deliberations the two delegations will sign a document outlining the steps for the progress of football in the whole of Cyprus, with the approval of FIFA and UEFA," said the statements.

"The arrangement will need to be ratified by the general assemblies of both the Cyprus FA and the Cyprus Turkish FA."

The meeting will take place on Nov. 5. The statements gave no further details on what the agreement might contain.

The island has been divided into Greek and Turkish parts since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish invasion of the north in 1974.

Turkey keeps some 30,000 troops in the north and is the only nation to recognise the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Football on the Greek side of the island is run by the Cyprus FA (CFA), which is recognised by FIFA and whose teams play in international competition.

The Cyprus Turkish FA (CTFA), not recognised by FIFA, controls football on the northern side of the island.

The Northern Cyprus national side have taken part in several tournaments for teams not recognised by FIFA. Last year, they finished as runners-up to Iraqi Kurdistan at the VIVA World Cup and they also won the FIFI unofficial World Cup in 2006 in Hamburg, beating Zanzibar on penalties in the final. (Editing by Clare Fallon)