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Cyprus instead of Turkey

Postby Sotos » Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:04 pm

THE RECENT bird flu scare in Turkey has prompted some foreign football teams to relocate their season training breaks from Antalya to Cyprus.

Already, five top flight Romanian teams have cancelled plans to schedule their traditional winter training because of the crisis in Turkey. Cyprus, Italy and Greece will now host Dinamo Bucharest, CFR Cluj, Politehnica Timisoara, Rapid Bucharest and Vaslui. Another four teams from the Balkan state are also believed to be on the lookout for another location for their training.

The deadly H5N1 virus has been found in wild birds and poultry across Turkey, particularly eastern Turkey. It has killed three children and infected a further 15 people in the country since the start of the year.

Rapid Bucharest midfielder Marius Maldarasanu told reporters that he agreed with his side’s decision to relocate from Antalya saying “of course I'm worried because I have two children at home."

Cyprus is not an unknown location for foreign clubs taking winter breaks abroad. Dromolaxia, Ayia Napa and Paphos are frequently used by clubs and in the past prominent teams such as Crystal Palace, Dinamo Moscow, Slavia Prague and Swedish side Malmo have used Cyprus as a training location.

Crystal Palace coach Iain Dowie told the Cyprus Mail last year the island was “ideal because it offered perfect weather conditions for the club”. He added that the island was also a nice change for the players.

Only one Romanian side, Glorai Bistrita, have decided to stick to their plan to travel to Turkey. Unfazed by the recent scare in Turkey, club chairman Jean Padureanu told Reuters: "We go there but our players will not eat chicken."
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