UEFA has been finding out about the progress of women's football in Cyprus – and visited Apollon Limassol LFC for a first-hand look at the work being undertaken on the island.
The recent European football activities in Cyprus – featuring a strategy meeting between UEFA and its 53 member national associations, and a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee – also gave UEFA the opportunity to catch up on the progress of women's football on the Mediterranean island.
A UEFA delegation visited Apollon Limassol LFC, who are currently in UEFA Women's Champions League action and await an interesting round of 32 second leg against AC Sparta Praha after a 2-2 draw in Cyprus on Wednesday.
European football's governing body was represented by UEFA vice-president Marios N Lefkaritis, deputy general secretary Theodore Theodoridis and Karen Espelund, member by invitation to the UEFA Executive Committee. They were accompanied by the president of the Cyprus Football Association (KOP/CFA), Costakis Koutsokoumnis.
Discussions with the Apollon officials revealed that the club is developing positively, especially in the wake of the creation of a girls' academy which, with 50 players, is the largest in the country.
Meanwhile, Cyprus is to make excellent use of the funds being provided by UEFA's women's football development programme (WFDP) to its member associations, backed by the UEFA Executive Committee. The WFDP is being bolstered via yearly payments of €100,000 to each association between 2012 and 2016, with payments coming from the HatTrick III assistance scheme.
The CFA plans to stage a girls' football festival, and to launch a four-year development plan to develop the women's game – as do other associations who are working hand in hand to foster this burgeoning sector of the sport.