Racism, but not as we know it!
By Chris Elliott
Living in North Cyprus we tend to think that the political issues and embargoes of the Cyprus division only impact on our lives here but the Cyprus issue is far-reaching and the unfair practices by the various authorities continue to keep the Turkish Cypriots in a disadvantaged position.
Please read the article by Fevzi Hussein a columnist who has written about racism in sport on Sport.Co.Uk and has asked us to share this news so the world can see how the Turkish Cypriots are still being victimised.
Readers of this website will have been riveted by the revelations in the last year or so around racism in football and these continue to rock football. Only last week a Cheltenham football fan was arrested for allegedly sending racist tweets to Northampton Town players Adebayo Akinfewa and Clarke Clarlisle, who is also Chair of the Professional Footballers Association.
Fevzi Hussein brings us news of an interesting development where intolerance appears to have reared its ugly head at grass roots community level football.
On the 19th May 2013, a friendly match was supposed to be taking place at Barnet Football Club between an All Star XI group of Turkish Cypriot footballers made up from the Turkish Cypriot league, which is effectively the Sunday League set up at Hackney Marshes, amongst other locations within London. They were due to play the North Cyprus national team.
Turgut Esendagli, who is the Chair of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation based here in the UK, appeared on Kibris Genc TV last night (9 May 2013) and he played a message to the viewers, which was left on his voicemail. The message was from a Barnet Football Club representative and confirmed that Barnet were not going to honour the arrangement which had been verbally agreed (a contract had been drafted in preparation). The club cited a covenant which did not permit political activity and given the ongoing problems linked to Cyprus, the club deemed it too “risky” to go ahead with the game. The spokesperson from Barnet also said that he could not allay the fears of his board and the (Greek Cypriot) media on this issue. This appeared to be in contradiction to what furious Turkish Cypriots were being told when they besieged the club to complain when news of this broke – they were told the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation had not paid the booking as this was effectively the reason for the game not going ahead.
Football is the real loser here. Many people rightly say that politics should never come into football and FIFA also (supposedly) recognise this. Within their own statute article 3 reads
“Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”
To read more of this mind-blowing case and other great articles on Sport.Co.Uk click here