Football in Cyprus
|Football in Cyprus|
|Governing body||Cyprus Football Association|
|National team||men's national team|
Short of some sporadic surprise wins versus higher-ranked countries, mostly on home soil, the national team has not enjoyed any success of note. On the other hand, Cypriot clubs have reached the Champions League Group Stage three times in recent years; that has made Cyprus the smallest sovereign state (in both terms of area and population) to have been represented in the main phase of Europe's most prestigious club tournament, since the introduction of the group stage in 1992. APOEL FC made history in 2012 by being the first Cypriot team to reach the quarter finals of UEFA Champions League.
Football was introduced to Cyprus early in the 20th century by the British (Canon Frank Darvall Newham, founder of The English School, Nicosia). Initially played in the island's schools, it proved hugely popular and a number of clubs were duly formed. Football clubs played friendly games only and the first unofficial island-wide league was organised on 1932.
The rivalry between teams that support different political parties has grown intense over the decades and the matches result in bloody conflicts between the fans. The fans take extreme pride in their team not only because the history of their team but because the connection their political party has with their team. The more hardcore right wing fans wave fascist symbols during matches whereas the hardcore left wing fans wave symbols associated with communism. AC Omonia's hardcore fans in the season 2011-2012 made an enormous choreography of the hammer and sickle, whereas APOEL FC and other right wing football clubs waved fascist symbols. The two teams mentioned above have an often violent rivalry, resulting in injuries to fans.
Cyprus Football Association
As football became established, the clubs were united in agreeing that an official body was needed to regulate the sport. In September 1934, the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) was formed and matches were soon being played on an official basis. The association became a FIFA member in 1948 and an UEFA member in 1962.
Pancyprian Footballers Association
Until the mid-1980s, footballers in Cyprus did not have any organisation or union that promoted their interests. Players were usually paid small wages and needed to have other jobs in order to support themselves and their families. On December 12, 1987 the Pancyprian Footballers Association (Greek: Παγκύπριος Σύνδεσμος Ποδοσφαιριστών) was created. On February 25, 1997, the PFA became a FIFPro member. 
There are 52,403 (19,203 registered) players and 108 football clubs in Cyprus.
- Cup tournaments:
- National teams:
Cyprus' highest FIFA ranking (43rd) came in October 2010. Cyprus is currently ranked 87th (June 2015 list).
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- Doyle, Paul (2013-03-21). "How Cyprus's financial crisis may bolster moves towards football unity | Paul Doyle | Football". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
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- "Premier League has second-largest proportion of foreigners in Europe | Football". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- Η ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΠΑΓΚΥΠΡΙΟΥ ΣΥΝΔΕΣΜΟΥ ΠΟΔΟΣΦΑΙΡΙΣΤΩΝ (in Greek). Π.Α.Σ.Π. 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- "Cyprus: country information". FIFA. 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2008-12-02.
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