Read about The Pontian Genocide A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Thursday, 22 August 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 97-10-07

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


Tuesday, October 7, 1997

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus obliged to defend itself says Clerides
  • [02] Burning ship towed back to port
  • [03] Passengers speak of a disaster waiting to happen
  • [04] Praise and criticism heaped on Cyprus
  • [05] Shipping reforms: the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
  • [06] Ecevit hints at possible troop withdrawals
  • [07] Top Turkish official sinks Denktash national congress plan
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot 'citizenship' used to get university places
  • [09] Court told details of alleged nightclub intimidation bid
  • [10] Conscript found dead in suspected suicide
  • [11] Oil delegates gather for Nicosia conference
  • [12] Top finance meeting in New York today
  • [13] Trade Fairs meet in Limassol
  • [14] EU urged to remain calm
  • [15] Three-horse race shaping up

  • [01] Cyprus obliged to defend itself says Clerides

    By Andrew Adamides

    CYPRUS has both the right and the duty to defend itself and its people, President Glafcos Clerides said yesterday in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, adding that there is no way it will relinquish that right.

    Giving his address in New York yesterday, Clerides said that the Turkish airforce would never again be allowed to "bomb our towns and villages at will". To this end, he reconfirmed the impending arrival of the S-300 missiles, saying Cyprus had an "inalienable right" both to defend itself and decide about its armaments.

    He once again laid the blame for the lack of progress in the search for a Cyprus solution on the Denktash regime, saying that this was where the world should focus its efforts to bring about a solution. The UN-led direct talks during the summer had failed to turn up any answers, he said, because of the "inflexibility of the Turkish side."

    Clerides said that during the talks, he had proposed that both sides release a statement renouncing the use of force as a method of solving the Cyprus problem and said that this would "open the way for substantive progress towards a comprehensive settlement" which would include the demilitarisation of the island.

    In conclusion, Clerides added that Greek and Turkish Cypriots must live in Cyprus "for centuries to come" and should do so as friends and citizens of a bi-communal, bizonal federal republic, respecting each other in this. He said both sides should also be members of the European Union as this would provide "greater security and prosperity, both for our respective communities and for Cyprus, our country."

    Prior to giving his speech, Clerides met with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to discuss the current status of the Cyprus problem and possible developments in the near future. In a statement after the meeting, Clerides said there "was a convergence of views" on all issues discussed. He also said that the UN chief had agreed to appoint a new third member to the UN Investigatory Committee For the Missing

    [02] Burning ship towed back to port

    By Jean Christou

    THE GUTTED Cypriot cruise ship Romantica was safely anchored off Limassol port yesterday but a round-the-clock operation was mounted to fight the smouldering flames.

    Marine authorities said the blaze was under control but investigators wouldn't be able to examine the ship until today at the earliest.

    The operation to tow the burning ship started on Saturday afternoon, stopped overnight and resumed on Sunday morning.

    It was brought to port in the early hours yesterday at a speed of two miles an hour due to strong winds and the fact that the fire had spread to the interior of the vessel.

    "The ship is now moored off Limassol port in a safe place, the salvage people are trying to extinguish the fire completely," said Cyprus chief marine inspector Prokopis Kitromilitis. The ship, still tilting at an angle of 20 degrees and having sunk 12 feet, is under police guard.

    The authorities have ruled out any danger of fuel leaking into the sea causing environmental problems, though thick black smoke continued to pour from the vessel yesterday.

    Kitromilitis said once the fire was doused, investigators would go on board to collect evidence as to its cause.

    "It's only a matter of time before the fire is put out and then the investigation will start, to find out if it was deliberate, which is normal procedure," Kitromilitis said.

    He added: "All fires are under suspicion until proven otherwise."

    Cyprus police spokesman Glafcos Xenos said statements had been received from the Romantica captain and its Cypriot owner.

    The 186-member crew also gave statements to police yesterday. They confirmed the fire had broken out in the engine room early in the morning on Saturday when the ship was some 60 miles off Limassol on its way back from Egypt.

    All 673 passengers and crew aboard Romantica were evacuated on to the Louis-owned Princessa Victoria without any reported injuries.

    One Egyptian sailor who was in the engine room when the fire broke out was slightly hurt near his right eye but said he did not require medical attention. The foreign crew members were taken to the four-star Ajax hotel in Limassol after the Victoria docked while the tourists were transported to their respective hotels, investigating officer Nicos Economides told CyBC Radio 2 yesterday.

    Among the 487 passengers were 225 Russians,, 120 Britons, 34 Hungarians, 22 Swedes, 21 Dutch, 18 Germans, 24 Greeks and only six Cypriots. Of the 186 crew members only five were Cypriots.

    The 58-year old 298-cabin Romantica, built in Hamburg, had only recently been fully refurbished. The ship was insured with Lloyds for $4 million.

    [03] Passengers speak of a disaster waiting to happen

    By Jean Christou

    DESPITE the safe evacuation on Saturday of its 700 passengers and crew, the Romantica's seaworthiness has been seriously questioned over the past two days.

    The British papers in particular were full of reports on Sunday from tourists who had been aboard the Romantica and had complained that the 58- year-old ship was ill-equipped.

    Many of the passengers have been left stranded on the island without their belongings and passports and are seeking compensation. Some have already returned to the UK.

    Passengers there claimed that members of the crew had not been properly trained to supervise an evacuation of the ship, that they had been unable to launch lifeboats properly and that the engines of at least three of the lifeboats had not started.

    They said they were not notified of the fire by a proper communications system, "just someone running past the cabins banging on the doors telling people to get out".

    Britons Paul and Pat Beard said: "Several of the crew exited with their luggage. We overheard one instructing his friend to tell the lifeboats that they were passengers."

    Others who has travelled aboard the Romantica on previous occasions were also quoted by the British papers.

    Paul Smith, 42, a gas engineer from Somerset obtained a £400 refund from the operators after complaining about conditions on a three-day trip to Egypt and Israel last month, he said.

    "It was a disaster waiting to happen. Ceilings were falling down, smoke alarms were not connected. There was loose wiring, cabins were flooding, toilets and showers were not working. Some alarms were hanging from walls. The ship just was not ready to go out. The crew appeared to have just been taught lifeboat procedures."

    Sue Lamb, another Briton told of a "nightmare" cruise on the same ship. "I didn't sleep for three nights while I was on board because I felt so unsafe. There were wires hanging under leaks and water pouring through the electronics. We had to evacuate our cabin because the ceiling collapsed and there were buckets everywhere because of leaks."

    The Mail on Sunday said the Romantica came second from the bottom in a 1996 Berlitz review or more than 100 cruise ships.

    But shipping authorities and experts on the island hit back at the criticism. A spokesman at Paradise Cruises, Romantica's owners said: "If that was the case they would all have drowned."

    William O'Neil, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) told Maritime Cyprus delegates, the search and rescue activity "was superb".

    "The cause of the fire will have to be determined through an investigation, but we should not lose sight of the fact that all these people were safely evacuated from the ship," O Neil said.

    Marine Inspector Prokopis Kitromilitis said: "We need to base this argument on proper documentation but it seems these people were sailing under a valid and legal certificate from the Classification Society.

    The ship had a certificate of seaworthiness and for the authorities that is enough, unless this certificate was issued illegally."

    New Paradise Cruises, said yesterday that all passengers would be compensated.

    "The passengers are our first concern and we have done everything to ensure their wellbeing," said Paradise director Nicos Anastassiades. "Before we hang anybody, let's leave it to the experts to decide."

    Executive director Michalis Anastassiades said the result of the rescue operation "spoke for itself".

    "The staff proved they were correctly trained because they acted in complete calm."

    Investigating officer Nicos Economides said the rescue operation had gone smoothly and everything was carried out in compliance with maritime regulations.

    [04] Praise and criticism heaped on Cyprus

    By Hamza Hendawi

    A HIGH-powered international shipping conference opened in Nicosia yesterday with the government winning accolades for its handling of the weekend's Romantica disaster but coming under a barrage of criticism for its maritime policies, particularly in regard to the Cyprus Registry.

    The inaugural session of the three-day conference, "Maritime Cyprus 1997," also heard repeated calls for the pressing need to improve the competence and the qualification of seafarers to lessen the number of sea disasters and to conform with new regulations coming into effect next year.

    Held under the theme New Era in Shipping, the conference has attracted some 1,000 participants - shipowners, shipmanagers, underwriters, bankers, lawyers and accountants. Yesterday's opening session was addressed by House Speaker Spyros Kyprianou and attended by political party leaders, top brass from the National Guard and foreign ambassadors.

    There are an estimated 2,700 vessels which fly the Cyprus flag, making the island the world's fifth biggest shipping power. The Cyprus Registry, however, has been running into problems in recent years with more and more Cyprus-flagged ships getting detained for not observing regulations. The Romantica disaster, taking place on Saturday just two days before the conference's start, appeared set to cast a dark shadow on the conference, which has been treated by successive governments on the island as a high-profile vehicle to promote Cyprus as an international shipping centre and to put on show its highly developed services and banking sectors.

    That shadow, or at least most of it, was removed when the man at the helm of the world's top shipping regulatory body praised the handling of the disaster.

    "The cause of the fire (on the Romantica) will be determined through an investigation which I believe is already underway," William O'Neil, secretary-general of the International Maritime Conference told the conference.

    "But we should not lose sight of the fact that all of those people (aboard the cruise liner) were safely evacuated from the ship in hours of darkness, for such a rescue activity was superb. No one was injured and there were no fatalities. This did not just happen, it happened because proper infrastructure was put in place to deal with circumstances such as these."

    All 700 passengers and crew were evacuated safely from the burning Cyprus- flagged Romantica on Saturday and onto another Cypriot cruise liner, Princessa Victoria.

    Praise also came from David Cockroft, secretary-general of the International Transport Workers Federation, although it was part of a hard- hitting speech which made a scathing attack on the Cyprus Registry.

    "I must begin by paying tribute to the work done by the search and rescue forces and the crews of the Romantica and the Princessa Victoria," Cockroft said at the start of his speech. "We hope very much that the causes of this disaster be swiftly and directly identified.

    "I hope very much in the future that the government of Cyprus will pay just as much attention to investigating maritime accidents which take place further away from the coast and which involve less press publicity," he said.

    One of the lessons to be drawn from the weekend disaster, he added, was that "an industry which relies on 60-year-old equipment... has to be an industry where there are some problems."

    That was a reference to the age of the Romantica, built in Hamburg, Germany, 58 years ago and which served as a hospital ship for German troops during the Second World War.

    "Those of you who expected me to fill this address with words of praise for Cyprus... I am afraid they will be disappointed," he warned his listeners.

    Referring to the Cyprus Registry as a "flag of convenience," Cockroft said: "It is a system based on lies and hypocrisy... I believe the effects of the so-called open registry result in noisy and polluted coastlines, financial instability. It is an industry where observing laws has become optional, where paying taxes has become optional, where regulations have become just another business."

    Cockroft's speech won warm applause from delegates, but when a participant described his remarks as "inappropriate" during the questions-and-answers session which followed, he too received applause.

    Criticism of the government's maritime policies, albeit more reserved, came from the head of the Limassol-based Cyprus Shipping Council, Juergen Hahn.

    He complained of delays in implementing measures promised by the government to improve the monitoring of quality and standards on Cyprus flag ships, but said that the shipping industry took heart from, among other things, the recent appointment of marine surveyors, the planned recruiting of merchant shipping officers and the deletion of sub-standard ships from the Cyprus Registry.

    "We feel that the overall pace of implementation of these measures has been quite slow, and in some cases counter-productive to the original goals aimed to be achieved," Hahn said. "It is also well known that part of the difficulties... is a direct result of the way public services operate. Certainly there are not a lot of differences between this country and other countries on this aspect, but this cannot be an excuse if so much is at stake."

    The emphasis on the human element in shipping was the main theme of the keynote speech given by O'Neal, the head of the International Maritime Organisation. "The old days when a boy could run away to sea and learn his trade ended years ago and although new technology offers many opportunities, it has to be handled properly," he said.

    "That puts a premium on training which in turn means that standards in maritime institutions must be raised... While technology and innovation are critical to maintaining a healthy industry, it is equally important that we move people up to the top rung of our thinking." he said.

    [05] Shipping reforms: the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

    By Jean Christou

    LLOYD's List shipping newspaper has issued a 32-page supplement on Cyprus to coincide with the Maritime conference which opened in Nicosia yesterday.

    The special report says the recent trickle of tonnage out of the Cyprus registry has mainly been caused by the flag's image problem which is making owners of tankers and liner vessels increasingly nervous.

    However it adds: "It is not that the authorities have done nothing to improve the situation." Among the steps that have been taken is the 1989 age-limit policy providing for compulsory inspections of ships more than 17 years old wanting join the registry.

    Staffing levels have also been expanded and the Ministry of Communications and Works has been given new powers to delete substandard ships.

    But despite the measures, Lloyds says the authorities admit their problems have not been solved.

    "Well-placed critics say it is largely a case of the spirit being willing but the flesh turning out to be weak."

    Lloyds says the flag's poor image can be traced back to Iran-Iraq war when several large casualties of the conflict gave Cyprus the worst loss record of any flag.

    Cyprus currently has the 15th worst record on the European "black list" with a detention record of 16.35 per cent.

    In a profile on Communications Minister Leontios Ierodiaconou, Lloyds said he was the man to whom Cyprus-based shipping circles were now looking for the resurrection the image of the island's ship registry.

    "(He is) regarded as a heavy-hitter in the country's politics... and has the reputation of demanding quick results rather than getting bogged down in the minutiae of administration," Lloyds said.

    An interview with Cyprus Shipping Council (CSE) president Juergen Hahn revealed the council had been disturbed recently over signs that the reputation of the flag was inconveniencing good operators and even driving business away from Cyprus.

    "What really rankles the CSE is that it believes solutions to the problems are readily to hand," Lloyds says. "However, the CSE agrees with the government that it is only a small number of ships that continue to blacken the flag's reputation."

    The supplement also includes reports on the Cyprus Ports Authority, Cyprus as a shipmanagement centre, the marine environmental group Cymepa, cruising and even Cyprus Airways.

    "In contrast to the standing of the Cypriot flag, the overall reputation of the shipping community that has developed on the island has from the early days been very high," Lloyds said in reference to Cyprus as a shipmanagement centre.

    It adds that, according to executives on the island, the ingredients that initially drew them to the location - low taxation, good infrastructure, pleasant lifestyle and the government's broadly sympathetic approach to the industry - remained as favourable as ever.

    [06] Ecevit hints at possible troop withdrawals

    TURKEY's deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has proposed a Middle East arms control treaty and hinted Ankara could withdraw some troops from northern Cyprus.

    Ecevit, who was Prime Minister when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974, made his statements in separate interviews.

    In remarks published in the Ankara daily Milliyet on Sunday, Ecevit said an arms control agreement to cover the Mediterranean and the Aegean would ease relations between Turkey and Greece, adding that he planned to take the proposal to the Turkish cabinet soon.

    "The countries which arms themselves the fastest are the countries of this region," said Ecevit.

    Meanwhile, in an interview with NTV television, Ecevit said Turkey was ready to negotiate armament reductions in Cyprus, but this would only be achieved if other countries in the Eastern Mediterranean also reduced their military forces.

    And he said Turkey had no intention of invading the government controlled areas: had it wanted to, it could easily have done so in 1974, he added.

    Turkey has issued a series of threats over Cyprus' plans to deploy Russian- made anti aircraft S-300 missiles, including military action.

    Ecevit's statements came as President Clerides travelled to New York to condemn Turkey's threats and explain his demilitarisation proposal to the UN General Assembly.

    [07] Top Turkish official sinks Denktash national congress plan

    A SENIOR Turkish official has put the blocks on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's proposal for a National Congress on the Cyprus issue.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeniduzen reported yesterday that Turkish Foreign office under-secretary Onur Oymen had slammed the idea.

    "To take further the proposal for a national congress which would tend to split the Turkish Cypriot people, could be harmful," Yeniduzen quoted Oymen as saying.

    The Turkish official was on a three-day visit to the occupied areas.

    Denktash's proposal, which he said aimed at "taking the Cyprus problem to the people," has met with opposition from Turkish Cypriot political parties - including one of the governing coalition parties, the National Unity Party (UBP) of `Prime Minister' Dervis Eroglu.

    It was only backed by co-governing Democratic Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktash, son of the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    Opponents of the ides charged that a National Congress - which would be made up of Denktash and a host of party leaders, former and current `deputies', `ministers' and others - would by-pass `parliament'.

    Yeniduzen reported, however, that Oymen backed the idea of a National Council made up of Denktash and party leaders. The council would have no executive power but its decisions on the Cyprus problem would be binding.

    [08] Turkish Cypriot 'citizenship' used to get university places

    AN UPROAR has broken out in Turkey over revelations that senior officials were benefitting from perks that come with Turkish-Cypriot "citizenship" - even though they had never even visited the occupied north.

    The story, broken first by the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeniduzen, was picked up by Ankara dailies.

    The papers said children of influential families in Ankara had taken up university places earmarked for Turkish Cypriots - even though they had not set foot in the occupied north and did not qualify for Turkish-Cypriot "citizenship."

    Yeniduzen, which on Sunday ran excerpts from the story in the Turkish daily Milliyet, said it had reported on the scandal one month ago and asked authorities in the north to take up the issue. Nothing was done, it says.

    And it quotes the Milliyet report saying that the Centre for the Selection and Placement of Students had found out who had abused the system and had taken their names off the students' register.

    [09] Court told details of alleged nightclub intimidation bid

    FOUR men were remanded in custody yesterday on suspicion of using bombs and guns in an attempt to frighten an Ayia Napa man into signing over part of his share in a strip club.

    Larnaca lawyer Andreas Demetriou, arrested along with the four on Saturday, was released after making a statement to police.

    Waiter Simos Charalambous, 29, from Ormidia, Paralimni social club owner Ioannis Kalopsidiotis, 59, 32-year-old George Koutsioftas from Paralimni and 29-year-old Costas Yianni Kotas were remanded for seven days by Larnaca District Court.

    Investigating officer Andreas Naoum told the court the four were believed to be behind three recent attacks on Pieris Christofi.

    On August 28 Christofi's Moulin Rouge club in Ayia Napa was devastated by the explosion of a bomb left in the toilets. On September 4, a bomb left on the kitchen veranda of Christofi's home had to be diffused by explosives experts. Seventeen days later, four shots were fired at Christofi's home.

    The court heard that Christofi was subsequently contacted by telephone by someone claiming to be behind the attacks and asked to go to a lawyer's office in Larnaca to sign over 30 per cent of his 51 per cent stake in the club which is being renovated. In a statement made to police, Christofi claimed he went to a meeting place where the lawyer, Charalambous and Koutsioftas tried to persuade him to sign over the share, but he refused, Naoum said.

    Christofi stated Charalambous and Koutsioftas told him the Kalopsidiotis family had been behind the bomb attacks, the court heard.

    Christofi also received a number of calls warning him to halt renovation work on the Moulin Rouge, Naoum said.

    Kotas was arrested after police carrying out house searches in connection with the investigation found four bullets and seven metallic cylinders, believed to be bomb components, in his home in Liopetri village outside Larnaca.

    [10] Conscript found dead in suspected suicide

    POLICE and the National Guard were yesterday investigating the suspected suicide of a 19-year-old soldier on Saturday night.

    Nicos Nicolaou, from the Ypsonas suburb of Limassol, was found dead, shot through the head, at his sentry post at a camp near Lythrodontas village, in the Nicosia area, at around 9.35pm, police said.

    The body was found by the sergeant on duty who went to investigate after hearing a shot coming from the area of Nicolaou's guard post. Nicolaou's automatic and a spent cartridge were found by his side.

    After carrying out a post mortem examination on Sunday, state pathologist Sofoclis Sofocleous said Nicolaou had been killed by a bullet passing through his skull from under the chin.

    [11] Oil delegates gather for Nicosia conference

    DELEGATES from governments and companies involved in the oil industry gathered in Nicosia yesterday to discuss the future of the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

    The 150 delegates from around 30 countries attending the two-day conference are focusing on the potential of Middle East and CIS countries to meet growing world demand for oil and gas.

    Several integrated energy projects worth several billion dollars each are being launched in the Middle East in a bid to make the region a hub for thousands of private businesses.

    In the lead are Mobil in Qatar, Shell in Oman, Amoco in Egypt and Total in Yemen, with each having launched one integrated project.

    Each project ranges from exploration, production and liquefaction of natural gas in one country to power generation and supply in another country with a big shipping venture to carry the liquefied natural gas from the source to the market.

    Investment banks are providing the finance for these projects.

    The Nicosia conference is discussing 26 papers on topics ranging from Middle East and CIS hydrocarbon reserves to downstream business and independent power procedure.

    The key paper, "New ideas for very large integrated energy projects in the greater Middle East and the need to start now", was presented by Pierre Shammas, President of the Nicosia-based consulting house APS Energy Group which is organising the conference.

    Related papers are being presented by experts from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Institut français du pétrole and the British Institute of Energy Economics.

    Dr Abdel Amir Al Anbari, Iraq's chief oil negotiator with the UN on the oil- for-food deal is also attending he conference.

    [12] Top finance meeting in New York today

    FINANCE Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou and Central Bank governor Afxentis Afxentiou will join President Clerides in New York for today's meeting with leading US financial experts and businessmen.

    The meeting is the initiative of US presidential envoy on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke. It will be attended by businessmen, bankers and prominent journalists and aims to promote Cyprus as a regional economic centre and attract investments and other business activities, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

    [13] Trade Fairs meet in Limassol

    TOP OFFICIALS from trade fair organisations gathered in Limassol yesterday for the second general assembly of the Mediterranean Trade Fairs Association.

    Issues to be discussed at the two-day meeting include co-ordination and training.

    Speaking at the opening, Cyprus State Fairs Authority chairman Demetris Ioannou noted internationalisation of trade was opening up new challenges for the business world. Those prepared to make the necessary changes stood to benefit.

    "Our association is an example of the outcome of this process. It rallies together parallel national planning and its objectives and concurrent with the overall trends of economic activity and the tendencies which dominate the end of the 20th century," he said

    Fairs and exhibitions are an integral part of economic development, and the association is committed to seeing fairs grow, he said.

    On the agenda are ideas for specific projects, including a Mediterranean Fairs calendar to promote co-ordination, training programmes and information technologies.

    The Cyprus State Fairs Authority is a founding member of the association whose members include the fairs of Amman, Valencia, Barcelona, Genoa, Damascus, Salonica, Casablanca, Cairo, Lisbon, Istanbul, Malta, Marseille, Nablus, Tel Aviv, Tripoli and Tunis.

    [14] EU urged to remain calm

    CO-CHAIRMAN of the European Union-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee Phillipe Monfils told a committee meeting in Brussels yesterday that the EU must meet its obligations towards Cyprus for the start of the island's accession talks next year. He added that this might also have an effect on Turkey's position on the accession prospects and called on the EU to remain calm in the face of Turkey's statements concerning both its own and Cyprus' accession prospects.

    The meeting was also addressed by Cypriot Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides, who gave the Euro-MPs and Cypriot parliamentarians attending a rundown on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the EU course. He warned that any deviation from previous agreements relating to Cyprus would furnish Turkey with incentives to continue holding its current position.

    [15] Three-horse race shaping up

    By George Christou

    AFTER three games of the new league season and championship race is already looking like a three-horse race, with Anorthosis, Apoel and Apollonas breaking away from the pack.

    They are the three sides with maximum points, who, after just three games, have built a three-point gap from the rest of the field. Of the three, champions Anorthosis still look the strongest - they have scored 14 times without conceding a goal yet, although Salamina, who they beat 3-0, were their first difficult opponents.

    And in the first 45 minutes, Salamina competed as equals with Anorthosis in Sunday's Famagusta derby. Injuries to two key players signalled Salamina's collapse. In the 32nd minute, Kovasevic limped off and a minute after the restart defender, Nicolaou followed him for an early shower.

    Three minutes later, Anorthosis were in front when Ioannou fired in a shot from outside the area, the ball going into the net after hitting the post. Within 14 minutes, Anorthosis had scored two more, while Porfyriou became the third Salamina player to limp off the field injured.

    The second goal must have been galling for the home side, as it was conceived and executed by three former Salamina players who had moved to the champions in the summer.

    Both Okkas and Bambis Andreou, who came on as substitute, were involved in the build-up, which finished with Paris Elia firing the ball into the net from 20 yards. Bambis Andreou completed the scoring just after the hour, heading in from close range.

    What really sets Anorthosis apart from the rest of the teams, is the hard work all their players are willing to do. At times, this commitment could be seen as over-physical, but hard tackling is as much a part of the game as skill. It is certainly more intimidating for the opponents.

    Cup holders Apoel, despite playing in Austria on Thursday, showed no signs of weariness as they comfortably overcame Ael in Limassol by 3-1. It was an efficient rather than inspired performance but Apoel were always in control.

    All the goals came in the second half, with Apoel's Austrian striker Koznikou, who hit five goals in his first two outings, failing to score. This time Apoel's Cypriot strikers got on the scoresheet.

    Captain Yiannos Ioannou opened the scoring 10 minutes into he second half and Soteriou headed in the second. Neophytou pulled a goal back for Ael but the promoted Limassol side never looked like getting back into the game. Two minutes from time, substitute Alexandrou was found by Ioannou and cooly slotted the ball into the net.

    Apollonas conceded their first goal of the season in Paphos on Saturday, but still won 3-1. The goal, scored by Dragisic was the first scored by Evagoras since returning to the first division.

    The problem for the Paphos side was that Apollonas were three up through goals by Tsolakis, Spoliaric and Vata. Spoliaric, a midfielder, has now scored in all three of Apollonas' games.

    Omonia were booed off the field on Sunday afternoon after suffering their second defeat in a row. They lost 1-0 at home to Aek, after a poor performance, and only the profligacy of the visitors' strikers ensured against a wider winning margin.

    Once again, Aek's youngster Nicholas Georgiou outshone the three Brazilians.

    Inevitably Georgiou won the penalty, from which Stylianides scored the only goal of the game, after Paolinho completely mis-kicked the ball. The Brazilian had aimed for goal but the ball fell to Georgiou who was tripped as he rounded the Omonia keeper, Christofi.

    Anagennisis earned their first three points by defeating Ethnikos Achnas in Dherynia 3-2. Gondolan scored twice for the home side, the winner coming in the 88th minute. Achnas' Skopjan player, Jurev, score Achnas' goals.

    Ethnikos Ashias were unlucky not get their first point of the season, losing at home to Paralimni to a goal scored by Afxentis in the fourth minute of injury time. The 2-1 result flattered the winners who had gone ahead through Zembashis. Constantinides scored for Ashia.

    Alki's players were lambasted by their Bulgarian coach Angel Kolev after crashing to their third successive defeat. Kolev accused his players of a total lack of discipline as they lost 3-1 at home to Apop.

    Apop's Serbian contingent scored all three goals. Anorthosis rejects Arsene Michailovic and Sasa Jovanovic, who has scored in every game, got one each and Rodmilo Michailovic the other.

    © Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

    Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    cmnews2html v1.00 run on Sunday, 16 November 1997 - 20:45:44 UTC