Pyla bicommunal football tournament brings communities together
On Sunday 19th June 2016, the 2nd Annual Bi-communal Football tournament took place in the Futsal Stadium on 3rd Avenue in Pyla Village. The event, organised by local Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot football clubs with assistance of UNFICYP Civil Affairs, UNPOL and the Sovereign Base Areas’ Community Police Unit, drew about 150 spectators, who braved the scorching heat to cheer on their favourite teams.
The Turkish Cypriot Mukhtar from Pyla, Mr. Enver Nedjet, and the Greek Cypriot Mukhtar of Pyla, Mr. Simos Mitides, both attended the event, with Mr. Nedjet noting that in his 20 years as Mukhtar, he had seen Bicommunal activities increasingly bring the community in Pyla closer together.
A total of eight football teams with a close connection to Pyla village played in the seven-a-side knockout tournament, with 20 children from the Greek Cypriot community and 20 children from the Turkish Cypriot community played matches in between the knockout rounds. At the end of the tournament, a Turkish Cypriot team emerged victorious over mixed teams, Greek Cypriot team, a team from UNPOL and a team from UNFICYP Sector 4.
A number of food and beverage vendors were present to keep participants and spectators watered and fed, as well as a group of folk dancers, who kept the audience entertained.
The purpose of the event was to bring people from all Cypriot communities together in a non-political sporting and social scenario to encourage mutual cooperation and respect.