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Cyprus Soccer Fans Jeer Queen Elizabeth, Disrupt Moment of Silence

September 11, 2022

NICOSIA – There wasn’t grief over Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Cyprus where crowds at a soccer game refused to observe a moment of silence and used it to jeer her memory with whistles and contempt.

She is blamed for not stopping the executions of anti-colonial protesters and nationalist fighters in the 1950s independence movement, said the Cyprus Mail about the outburst, even over her passing.

Moments of silence were observed at soccer games played throughout Europe the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) confirmed, said Newsweek but it drew derision at the game in the capital Nicosia.

The Cypriot First Division team Omonoia Nicosia took on the Moldovan team, Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League and before the kickoff players from both teams and referees stood around the center circle as an announcement was made over the loudspeakers.

“In honor of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, please stand for a moment of silence in her memory,” the announcer said, drawing catcalls from the crowd which had no interest in respecting her memory and chanting Omonoia slogans and songs.

“Well done Omonoia,” a fan commented on a TikTok video of the incident. Another added: “Respect to the Omonoians.”

Britain is also blamed for atrocities in trying to keep control of Cyprus when it was a colony and fighting against rebellions, given the island in 1878 by the ruling Ottoman Empire to protect it against any Russian aggression, the report noted.

Having bases in Cyprus gave Britain critical logistical access to the Middle East and the Suez Canal, the route by which the country accessed India and brought repression there as well.

In 1914, England gained full control of Cyprus and the following year offered it to Greece on the condition it would fight on Britain’s side during World War I. But Prince Philip’s grandfather, King Constantine I, declined.

Turkey also agreed to give up any claim to Cyprus in 1923 and two years later the island was declared a British Crown colony. But anti-colonial sentiment started to brew and Greek Cypriots started to push for “enosis,” a union with Greece.

That was almost unanimously supported by Greek-Cypriots in a referendum that was ignored by the ruling British and Turkish-Cypriots which led to Greek-Cypriot rebels taking up arms against the Colonial rulers.

The English retaliated savagely, with executions and beatings while Queen Elizabeth did nothing to stop it, and it wasn’t until 1960 that Cyprus gained independence through the Zurich Agreement with Britain winning the right to retain military bases there, still resented bitterly on the island.

a fact that still breeds resentment amongst locals.

Despite having bases there, the British also didn’t act to stop two unlawful Turkish invasions in 1974 that seized and occupied the northern third where Turkey keeps a 35,000-strong standing army.

 

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