Are Cypriots walking in the footsteps of Heysel & Hillsborough? How about taking a short cut? It shouldn't take more than a decade...
While I follow the recent football news in Cyprus I observe that same actors, "scripts" and same narratives are still there to remind me the reasons I've left my country. Today, almost fifteen years later, obsession to the same practices, ignorance, racism, primitive and segregating ideologies, "club-ism", violence, luck of progress and luck of personal or institutional commitment are still present!!! While I am grateful for having these reasons as the main drive for finding a new pathway and a different purpose in my life- I still- can not ignore or hide my frustration, disappointment and concern.
Today, May 29, 2014- is the anniversary of one of the biggest tragedies of our modern sport history. While I was navigating in various resources, I came across excellent documentaries that can help us understand the duality of sport; complexities of sport and society; the relationship between politics, security, power and media. Heysel and Hillsborough also verify that the positive outcomes and the power of sport to transform conflict is not unconditional. Strong political will and determination, human and financial resources, evidence-based policies, systems, processes and practices need to be in place to ensure growth, reform and positive transformation of any type of conflict.
If UK with the strong commitment, political will and determination from government, public servants and all engaged stakeholders have spent almost a decade to transform their "sport culture and systems"- how many years do Cypriots need to transform their existing landscape?
How about taking actions now- today?
How about taking actions without having a Cypriot version of Heysel or Hillsborough? Hopefully, actions will be taken without having to create similar documentaries. Cypriot public servants, government, political parties, sport and non-sport authorities "the ball is in your field".
We definitely do not need another- after the fact investigation to understand "criminal" inactivity and malfunctions of a system we are all part of!