Cyprus National Football Team

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The Cyprus national football team is the national team of Cyprus and is controlled by the Cyprus Football Association. It is one of the weakest members of UEFA, having never made the finals of any major international tournament.


The Cyprus national team lost their first international friendly, 3-0 against Israel in Tel Aviv on July 23, 1949, a year after becoming a member of the world governing body FIFA. In November 1960, following independence from British rule, Cyprus took part in their first official game, a 1-1 draw against Israel in the first leg of a qualifying tie for the 1962 FIFA World Cup. The return leg ended in a 6-1 defeat.

UEFA membership followed in 1962, and the next year was even more momentous as Cyprus won their first international - beating Greece 3-1 on November 27.

In 1974, the national team enjoyed one of their most famous victories when a team of part-timers beat a Northern Ireland side featuring legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings and 1968 European Footballer of the Year, George Best, 1-0 in Nicosia. Despite other similar triumphs on home soil, Cyprus had to wait until 1992 to record a first away win - 2-0 in the Faroe Islands.

Results in qualifying tournaments have also improved considerably in recent times. Cyprus drew 1-1 with holders Denmark and claimed seven points in their qualification campaign for 1996 European Football Championship. Four years later, they missed out on a place at 2000 European Football Championship by a solitary point after victories against Spain and Israel, 3-2. The Spain's defeat signalled the end of Javier Clemente's time as Spanish coach and made the world do a double-take. On October 7, 2006, Cyprus also recorded an astonishing 5-2 triumph over the favoured Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2008 qualifier.

Home Stadium

Cyprus currently play their home matches at New GSP Stadium, in Nicosia. In the past, the team played its home matches at various venues all around the island, mostly, until 1974, the Old GSP Stadium in Nicosia. Since then, various stadia were used with the stadium in Limassol being the prime choice during the 1990s. That changed in 1999, with the creation of the New GSP Stadium in Nicosia. For World Cup 2006 qualifiers, Cyprus used only the GSP Stadium, because it is the only stadium in Cyprus which satisfies the UEFA criteria. Other stadia are sometimes used for friendlies.

World Cup record

European Championship record


See also

External links