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Famagusta stands on two legs
Update: Rangers enter the second leg, to be held 24 August in Glasgow, with a 2–1 cushion. Much more significant, though, have been the ramifications on the Famagusta side of the 14 August crash of Helios Airways flight ZU 522 outside Athens. The uncle, aunt and two nieces of team captain Nikos Nikolaou were among the 121 who perished (John Leonidou, "Cypriot Football in Mourning," Cyprus Mail, 17 August). The Cyprus international missed the 17 August World Cup qualifier in the Faroe Islands—a 3–0 Cyprus victory—but is available for the Champions League qualifier against Rangers (Lakis Avraamides, "Bereaved Nikolaou Set to Face Rangers," The Scotsman, 23 August). A Cypriot referee as well as a board member and a medical officer with other Cyprus teams also died in the crash.VIOLENCE
Social malaise felt on terraces
Istanbul, 15–16 February 2005 | Migration, urbanization, unemployment and failures in
A chain of violent incidents has also led to calls for government response in Israel. Hapoel Haifa coach Nir Levin complained to the Knesset Committee on Violence in Sport after his car was vandalized. "The trouble makers need to be put behind lock and key. I don't fear for my life, but I will certainly be more careful."
This is the battle between two clubs from the same city but different continents—Europe and Asia—divided by the Bosporus, astride which a metropolis of 16 million sprawls from either bank. It is a confrontation up there in the league of loathing with Roma-Lazio or Celtic-Rangers and devoid of that Samba carnival nonsense that makes Rio's Flamengo-Fluminense so limp. "This is war," declares the Fenerbahçe fans' leader, Sefa. "In Glasgow maybe it's religion, in Rome maybe it's politics. Here it's pure football. We hate each other, that's all."
On the sex angle, we refer you to Simon Kuper's Financial Times article, in which he observes that "English footballers sin in packs. . . . They get into trouble together. They even watch each other having sex. This is because there is a strain in English football that regards drinking and group sex as forms of teambuilding." | back to top