Today, the first day of Conifa World Cup 2018 was attended by members of Embargoed! Fahri Zihni, Chair, was pleased to welcome the two teams playing in the afternoon at the Enfield Town Football Club – Northern Cyprus and Karpatalya. He wished both teams well with the game, and said “Whichever team wins, we are all winners today because we now have the right to take part, something that has been denied to us for a very long time, thanks to CONIFA!”
He said it was wrong that Northern Cyprus, and all other territories represented by Conifa were excluded from taking part in sporting and cultural activities. He explained that North Cyprus is also barred from direct trade with Europe, direct flights to North Cyprus and direct communications. He said the practice of sport is a human right, as clearly stated by both FIFA and the Olympics Charter. He added “The formal position of both organisations is that every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind within the spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. It is therefore against the basic human rights of people from more than 40 regions to be excluded from football competition by FIFA”.
He said: “CONIFA, on the other hand, is an extraordinary organisation. It aims to build bridges between people, nations, minorities and isolated regions all over the world through friendly competition, and within the spirit of camaraderie. It has given an opportunity to all forgotten people of the world to play the beautiful game, football, and express themselves on the football pitch”.
He said that Mr Per Anders Blind, Chairman, and Mr Sascha Duerkop, General Secretary of CONIFA should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the incredible efforts they are making to give the forgotten people of the world a voice, a presence and some dignity.
He asked lovers of football and fairness and to join Embargoed!, and fight the good fight against sporting and other embargoes placed on the people of North Cyprus and other disadvantaged people of the world. He also urged them to support the plight of the people of these “unrecognised” territories by buying tickets, attending matches, and in doing so also having great fun!