Football is the most popular sport in Cyprus. The Cyprus Football Association (CFA) was established in 1934 with the CFA organising various championships for its member clubs. In 1948, the Cyprus Football Association became a member of FIFA and in 1962 a member of UEFA. The Cyprus National Team played its first international game in 1949, at a time when Cyprus was not yet an independent state.
The CFA now participates at the national team level in the World Cup Competitions, the Olympic Tournaments and all the UEFA competitions for national teams (Senior, Under-21, Under-19, Under-17, Futsal and Women’s). It also participates at the club level in the UEFA Club Competitions. In the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons two Cypriot clubs, “Anorthosis” of Famagusta and “Apoel” of Nicosia respectively, managed to qualify to the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. A bigger success came later (2011-2012) with “Apoel” becoming the first Cypriot team to qualify for the UEFA Champions League round of 16. During the same season, “AEK” of Larnaka qualified to the group stages of the UEFA Europa League Competition, as well as “Apoel” did in 2013-2014 period.
There are currently fifty-seven clubs directly affiliated to the CFA and approximately two hundred and ninety indirectly affiliated clubs through local amateur associations. The CFA organises league championships of various levels and a cup competition. There are four divisions comprising of fourteen teams in each division. The CFA also organises women’s and futsal championships.