NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The chief of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot Football Association pushed back against detractors heaping scorn on a provisional deal aimed at unifying the sport on ethnically split Cyprus.Hasan Sertoglu said that he’ll move ahead with finalizing the agreement signed at FIFA headquarters this week in order to end decades of isolation for Turkish Cypriot football. FA member clubs will first have to ratify the agreement before it can be fully implemented.“We should be enthusiastic about this agreement here in this country where nothing has happened in years,” he told a packed news conference.Sertoglu said he had served notice before heading to Zurich that he would sign the agreement, despite not being pleased with some parts he wants to amend. He said this has earned FIFA’s appreciation and promises to help overcome problems.The island’s two football bodies split in 1954 following a Greek-Cypriot uprising against British colonial rule.Cyprus was divided into a Turkish speaking north and an internationally recognized Greek speaking south in 1974 when Turkey invaded the north after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Turkish Cypriots declared independence in 1983, but only Turkey recognizes it.Both FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA boss Michel Platini, hailed the deal as a “milestone” and praised both sides for demonstrating how football can build bridges.But a key point of contention is a provision requiring Turkish Cypriot FA membership to the south’s Cyprus Football Association which is a FIFA and UEFA member.Detractors say such a move would put Turkish Cypriots at a disadvantage in any political talks to end the country’s division because it would imply Turkish Cypriot consent to be put under Greek Cypriot authority. A United Nations envoy is now working to get the two sides to resume negotiations after an 18-month hiatus.The deal specifically states that it “does not set any precedent for the Cypriot political issue and is provisional until a solution to the Cyprus problem is found.”Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said he would first hear Sertoglu out before weighing in. But he warned that breathing life back into stunted Turkish Cypriot football doesn’t mean being “governed by the Greek Cypriot side.”“Even the smallest mistake will make us lose ground,” Turkish Cypriot broadcaster BRT quoted Eroglu as saying. Serdar Dentkash, the breakaway north’s Deputy Prime Minister was quoted as saying that Sertoglu made a “mistake” in signing the provisional deal and that he should resign.Speaking to The Associated Press through an interpreter, Sertoglu rejected any calls for his resignation. He said there are parts of the agreement he’s not satisfied with apart from CFA membership that he’ll seek to change.But CFA President Costas Koutsokoumnis ruled out any revisions and attributed Sertoglu’s wish for changes to political pressure. “Right now, we consider this document to be valid and non-negotiable,” Koutsokoumnis told the Cyprus News Agency.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Teen Line, the ground-breaking teen-to-teen support hotline, will honor the Sarah Shindler family with the Family Advocacy Award at the Food for Thought Luncheon, Thursday, May 25, 2017, at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills.Actress Katie Lowes of ABC’s hit show Scandal, will host.Teen Line volunteer Sarah Shindler and her parents will be honored with the 2017 Family Advocacy Award. Sarah joined Teen Line in the 10th grade and will be graduating this year. She has been accepted to George Washington University and will begin in the fall. She credits her parents for their support and dedication to the Teen Line program. “I know even as I go to college and my parents have an empty nest, Teen Line will always be a part of our family, no matter where we are and what we are doing,” Shindler said.Also being honored at the luncheon: Naomi Perez will receive the Teen Hero Award; Dylan Brenner and Natalie Musicant will receive Outstanding Listener Awards; Elliot Snow will receive the Advocacy Award; Tommy Attwood, Eshanika Chaudhary and Joy Flournoy will receive Teen Voice Awards; Molly Cody, Audrey Kotick, Laura Lopez, Claudia Montaner, Alexa Nourafchan, Max Kopelow, Seungil Lee and Isabella Sarnoff will receive Distinguished Service Awards.“This year’s honorees exemplify the very best of our dedicated supporters who know firsthand how crucial an organization like Teen Line can be in furthering the well-being of our youth,” said Michelle Carlson, Teen Line Executive Director. “Each has made a personal commitment to strengthening the message that we strive to deliver and in so doing, bring hope and reassurance to some of our most vulnerable young people.”Teen Line receives more than 15,000 calls, texts and emails each year, providing a safety net for teenagers dealing with troubled relationships; verbal, emotional or physical abuse; substance abuse; suicide; peer pressure; cyber bullying and other challenges. In addition, more than 25,000 participants annually attend Teen Line events at schools and community forums.Prior to the luncheon, a boutique will showcase fashionable items for purchase, with a portion of proceeds benefitting Teen Line.Sponsorships begin at $1,000; individual tickets, $150. For more information, email [email protected] or visit www.teenlineonline.org.