Cyprus is getting some serious space in the news these days, probably for the first time since about 1974, when a Turkish invasion split the country in two.
I recently spent some time in the country, mostly due to the pull of implicit egoism. Also while there, I investigated the country’s most torrid soccer rivalry, the Nicosia derby between Omonoia and Apoel. My piece about the history of the rivalry was published in The Blizzard Football Quarterly (VIII) in March. I recommend it to anyone interested in soccer, Cyprus, coups, or overlooked history – interests that should account for pretty much everybody. The rivalry is a fascinating and deep-rooted one that stretches back to the British occupation of the island. I also hope the piece sheds some light on the the country’s current political state.
For those who aren’t familiar with The Blizzard, it is a quarterly magazine started by The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson for folks who prefer their soccer stewed in some culturo-politico juices, or for those so consumed by soccer that they cannot process information of any other sort. The magazine’s content and style are wonderfully diverse. Issue VIII has some stellar pieces on: Mourinho’s cult of personality; Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s otherness; and the ups and downs of Nigeria’s national team. Oh, and the magazine offers an ingenious “pay-what-you-like” option for both print and digital forms.