NICOSIA: Another Greek Cypriot footballer has transferred to a Turkish Cypriot club.
Argyris Christofi has reportedly followed the example of of Demetris Vassiliou and signed for second division Degirmenlik (Kythrea) in the Turkish-controlled northern enclave of the divided island.
Club president Amir Ali Ortourtz has indicated that other Greek Cypriot footballers are also interested in possibly playing for Degirmenlik.
He said Christofi and Vassiliou have been training together for some days now and one of them will be used in the team’s next game.
Earlier Ortourtz said Vassiliou was transferred as part of an agreement aiming to develop ties between the football associations on both sides of the Green Line.
Vassiliou, however, was forced to miss what would have been his first match over safety fears after negative comments plus reports of death threats.
The 35-year-old has said he was the target of abuse both personally and via social networking sites since making the move, lost a coaching job, and had been threatened with demotion at work.
Turkish Cypriot clubs cannot play in international fixtures but the Cyprus Turkish Football Association signed a provisional arrangement with the Cyprus Football Association last November in which both sides agreed in principle that the CTFA would become a member of the CFA after 59 years of separation.
Resistance to progress still exists.
UEFA’s Cypriot vice-president Marios Lefkaritis said: “Such moves are totally unacceptable. Until a comprehensive solution is reached, not only in the Cyprus problem, but also in the reunification of Cypriot football, such steps are unacceptable.”