APOEL VS Qarabag
The third round of UEFA Champions League qualification match, between APOEL of Cyprus vs Qarabag of Azerbaijan, took place on Tuesday the 6th of August 2019, at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.
Local supporters flooded the tribunes of the GSP Stadium, counting about 15 thousand people. Cypriot Armenians fans also attended the match to support their local team APOEL.
The Armenian presence in Cyprus dates back to the 6th century. The Cypriot Armenian community is a recognized minority with their own language, schools, and churches.
The day started with the Azeri press attacking the press release of the Armenian National Committee of Cyprus (ANCC), about the Artsakh Situation, saying the Armenians are spreading false historical rumors about Nagorno- Karabagh.
The match ended with Qarabag team winning, but still, the Azeri team management made complaints to the UEFA about the presence of an Armenian flag on the eastern platform of the stadium. Nurlan Ibrahimov, the head of the press service at Qarabag, present in Cyprus during the match stated: “We are aware of that flag. We have already talked to UEFA officials about it. If it had been a so-called Nagorno-Karabakh flag, it would have been removed. But, unfortunately, because Armenia is an independent state, we have no opportunity to interfere.”
Christou Christou of local newspaper Philenews wrote: They seem to have forgotten that Armenia is an independent state, and we need not remind them of the Sumgait massacres in 1988 and the resettlement of 250,000 Armenians living in Baku, Azerbaijan.
He also reminded the Azeris of the “hospitality” that APOEL received from Nefchi Baku in the 2012-13 season, publishing pictures of Nefchi’s fans, holding flags of occupied Northern Cyprus and aroused justified reactions, in an old article by GoalNews, dated August 24, 2012, entitled “Provocative and Unacceptable”.
The Brave Armenian
The Brave Armenian stood by the Armenian and Greek flags to guard them, and to be a good example to the young generation accompanying him and his son and their friends. Armenian and Artsakh have many friends and supporters in Cyprus, one of them is MEP Eleni Theocharous who has visited The Artsakh Parliament, has been awarded the Gold Medal of Honour of Nagorno-Karabakh, and Azerbaijan has issued an arrest warrant for her adding her on their most-wanted list.