Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to play friendly match in buffer zone with Drogba in attendance

A Turkish Cypriot football club and Greek Cypriot opponents are to meet in the buffer zone next month for a cross-border friendly in the mixed village of Pile — and acclaimed former English Premier League and international striker Didier Drogba will be among the spectators. 

The tie between Mağusa Türk Gücü (MTG) and Nea Salamina is set to be played on the afternoon of March 19 at the village stadium.

It is organised by the Monaco-based Peace and Sport organisation, which works with “estranged” communities around the world with the aim of “restoring peaceful relations” where traditional policies have “failed to establish dialogue”.

Former Chelsea superstar Didier Drogba will be among those attending a bicommunal ‘Friendly Football Day’ on Tuesday in the mixed village of Pyla, organised by independent organisation Peace and Sport and the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and President Nicos Anastasiades have both confirmed their attendance.

The highlight of the day will be a friendly football match between the Greek Cypriot football team Nea Salamina, founded in Famagusta in 1945, and Turkish Cypriot Magusa Turk Gucu FC.
The game will be only the second of its kind in 64 years. Since 1955, the Greek and Turkish Cypriot teams have played in separate competitions.

The last such match was in March 2005 when Nea Salamina and Yenicami teams played together in Famagusta.

The event is part of the organisation’s ongoing efforts to use sport as a tool for diplomacy and dialogue around the world.

Cyprus Today

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