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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 7 April 2018
26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 7 APRIL 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Coming for the gold The Cypriot delegation in the opening ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. PHOTO: SELENE ALEXIA Olga Piperidou Chrysafi, head of Cyprus’ Commonwealth Games delegation of 46 athletes, talks about the team’s goals and aspirations NIKOS FOTAKIS "I'd like to thank the Greek and Cypriot community for their support so far and I hope they come to the Commonwealth games and show their support for our athletes." Olga Piperidou Chrysafi, Cyprus’ Chef de Mission and General Manager of the Cyprus Olympic Committee says the athletes were overwhelmed by the warmth and kindness the community showed them upon their arrival in Australia. Leading a team of 46 athletes, Ms Piperidou can't stress enough the importance of Cyprus taking part in the Commonwealth Games. "For us the Commonwealth Games are the most important ones after the Olympics," she says. "There's a large number of countries and athletes participating and the level of excellence is very high – in parts, it's even higher than the Olympics. It is a very competitive event." All participating countries share the same view – which is why this time round the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation applied a quota, to make participation manageable. "This is the first time that such a policy [has been] applied and it is a gamble for them," Ms Piperidou says, explaining the Cypriot delegation has previously comprised 50–55 athletes. Despite having to put a limit to the number of athletes participating, ambitions are still high. "Our goal is for our athletes to be well, to be well-prepared and perform to the best of their abilities," she explains. "If they do that, we definitely expect some medals. Any number above five will be satisfactory, if we manage to break our previous Commonwealth record, and bring home more than eight medals, the number we accumulated in Glasgow in 2014, [that] would be a major success for us." As far as goals go, this is realistic – and a testament of a trend in Cyprus where the sports sector seems to be in constant rise. "We're certainly evolving, considering that we managed to be in seventh place seven times at the latest Olympics," she agrees. "This is an important development and we're con- stantly improving." The growth is due to various factors, she explains: “Frst and foremost, we've received significant financial support from the state. How long this will last depends on the country's finances. When the state cooperates with all key parties: the sports federations, the Cypriot Olympic Committee and the Cypriot Commonwealth Games Committee, then it's certain that we'll be able to have better outcomes. Other than that we've gained knowledge, experience and maturity taking part in large sports events. Our athletes are in very good shape and we are hopeful that we'll get good results. “The only challenge is to get used to the weather conditions in Gold Coast," she laughs. Congress Review Working Group to comprise eight representatives and independent chair Football's world governing body, FIFA, has finally announced the terms of reference for the Congress Review Working Group (CRWG), the interim committee that many hope will set the ball rolling on the resolution of the governance crisis that has beset Australian football. FIFA's announcement includes the composition of the CRWG, its mandate, and the timeline for its task. FIFA has recommended that the working group be comprised of eight members and an independent chair. Half of the eight members are to come from member federations, two are to come from the A-League clubs, one from the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and onemember to represent the FFA. A notable feature of the composition of the CRWG is the inclusion of an FFA representative, something which both the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA) which represents the A-League clubs, and the PFA had lobbied against prior to the announcement. FIFA also gave an extra place to member federations, stipulating four member federations, as opposed to the three member federations recommended by the APFCA. How these representatives will be decided and who they'll be, remains unclear. Obviously these could be crucial factors in determining how successful the CRWG is in carrying out its mandate in a timely fashion. For example, which of the four member federations will be represented could be telling, given that the two major federations, Victoria and NSW, have been at loggerheads with the FFA over congress issues in the past. Also, the identity of both the A-League club representatives and the FFA representative could play a vital role given the two organisations differ greatly in their stance on Congress matters. Another major feature of the CRWG, and one which the APFCA also recommended, is the involvement of an independent chair. FIFA has charged the CRWG with deciding by unanimous vote who to appoint to the important role of independent chair, with the appointee charged with the task of ensuring that the CRWG fulfils its main objective which, according to FIFA, is "to propose a new composition of the FFA Congress to ensure a broader and more balanced representation of stakeholders in line with the requirements of the FIFA statutes." FIFA has instructed that the independent chair be experienced in legal and governance issues, preferably with a background in sports, and also be an experienced mediator and negotiator. FIFA added that if the CRWG was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the chair's appointment, then FIFA would make the appointment. In proposing a new composition for the expanded FFA congress, the CRWG will take into consideration other key objectives in the terms of reference, including: • The full participation of women at all levels of football governance • FFA board composition and independance • A pathway for alternative ALeague governance • A pathway for other stakeholders to become FFA members, and • Representation for NPL clubs in football governance. FIFA's timeline for the CRWG to present its proposal to FIFA and the AFC is 31 July. It will then be submitted to a FFA special general meeting for adoption by 7 September. Kingston City striker Damian Iaconis scored a brace in his team’s 2-0 4th Round FFA Cup win over neighbouring Dandenong City last Monday. FFA Cup football continues after Easter weekend Following the Round 5 FFA Cup draw earlier this week, it's fair to say that most of the Greek-based clubs who won their Round 4 matches last week will be favoured to progress into the sixth round of the cup. After all, with the exception of Northcote City and Yarraville FC, the Round 5 draw was kind, pitting most of the teams against opposition from lower leagues. Kingston City and Oakleigh Cannons will get to host State League 1 opponents Manningham United and Sydenham Park respectively. Bentleigh Greens and NPL 2 club Brunswick City will also face State League 1 opposition albeit away from home with Bentleigh to take on St Kilda and Brunswick to travel to Mornington. This follows Bentleigh's convincing 4-0 win against Box Hill United and Brunswick's 2-0 win over Strathmore in the previous round. Port Melbourne Sharks' fine 2–1 Round 4 win against Pascoe Vale last week came courtesy of goals to Kamal Ibrahim and Yuta Konagaya. The win earned the Sharks a Round 5 home tie against struggling NPL 2 club Sunshine Georgies. State League 1 club Caulfield United Cobras have enjoyed good runs in the cup in previous seasons. Last week the Cobras defeated Boroondara Carey Eagles 3-1 thanks to goals to Mario Hofmann, Daniel Topping, and Reece Robic. For their Round 5 tie, the Cobras will face State League 2 club Whittlesea United SC. Another State League club, Yarraville, progressed through to the fifth round thanks to a 2-1 victory against Brandon Park with Christopher Velluto and Lewis Shannon finding the net. Yarraville will go into their Round 5 tie away to NPL 2 club Whittlesea Ranges as the underdog. NPL 1 club Northcote City also faces a tough Round 5 tie at home to fellow in-form NPL 1 club Green Gully. City struggled to get past State League club Mazenod Victory in the previous round, relying on an own goal from a set piece. But in any case, fans will be grateful for their second consecutive win following their 3-2 league win over South Melbourne the previous week. Prior to the cup match against Gully, Northcote faces another tough league clash at home to high-flying Heidelberg United. Two of the surprise FFA Cup casualties from Round 4 were traditional powerhouses South Melbourne FC and Melbourne Knights. The Lakesiders who were beaten semifinalists last season, fell at the first hurdle against Hume City when a Nick Hegarty free kick broke the deadlock and proved to be the match-winner. Both South Melbourne and the Melbourne Knights were hoping to put the disappointment of their early Cup exits behind them when they met yesterday at Knights Stadium, in an NPL 1 league clash.
31 March 2018
14 April 2018