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FIFA has confirmed that Georgia's next two home qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ will take place in Tbilisi, following the world governing body's decision to move the match against Republic of Ireland to a neutral venue.

On Tuesday 19 August FIFA asked Georgia to nominate a neutral venue for the match, due to events which affected security in the entire country. The game took place in Mainz, Germany on Saturday 6 September, with Republic of Ireland winning 2-1.

However, after carefully assessing the situation, world football's governing body have granted Georgia permission to play their matches on home soil.

"FIFA has decided that the preliminary competition matches Georgia-Cyprus (Saturday 11 October) and-Bulgaria (Wednesday 15 October) will take place in Tbilisi as foreseen in the match calendar," a statement read.

"FIFA will remain in close contact with the Georgian Football Federation (GFF), but for the time being sees no indication that organisation and security standards will not be maintained for these matches."

Following defeats to Republic of Ireland and Italy in their two qualifiers so far, Georgia find themselves at the bottom of Group 8.

So the information you see stands, and the match will be hosted in Tblisi

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Buoyant Cyprus Scaling New Heights

Cyprus coach Angelos Anastasiadis has described his side's upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers away to Georgia and Republic of Ireland as "very crucial", with the team aiming to follow in the footsteps of national club side Anorthosis Famagusta FC and qualify for a major international competition.

Unlucky start

Cyprus were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Italy in their opening Group B match, missing a host of chances before conceding the Azzurri's winner in added time, and there is a wave of optimism that bigger things are on the horizon. The islanders will take heart from the impressive performances of Division A's top sides in Europe this season, most notably Anorthosis who became the first team from Cyprus to qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Difference reduced

Anastasiadis firmly believes Cyprus's upcoming games against Georgia and Ireland will play a massive part in his side's bid to achieve a unique first and qualify for the finals in South Africa. "We will give our all in these two very crucial games with the aim of taking as many points as we can", said the 54-year-old. "The positive is that we have recently seen that the differences between the so-called bigger and smaller teams has reduced. One has only to see what fantastic work the Cypriot clubs have done this year in the European competitions."

Worthy side

During their campaign to reach UEFA EURO 2008™, Cyprus showed genuine signs of progress, recording four victories as well as a draw against eventual tournament finalists Germany. They ultimately finished fourth, but Anastasiadis is confident they can do better this time around. "If we go into a game with any other aim than to win things will go wrong because you will not be in the right frame of mind," he said. "We need to show that we a worthy side."

United front

Anastasiadis is already the most successful coach Cyprus has ever had but the former Panathinaikos FC and PAOK FC player – who had never coached outside his native Greece prior to taking on the Cyprus job four years ago – says it is all down to his charges. "My players have not disappointed me. They play for Cyprus because they truly want to play for their country and that is what is most important for me and the team, they are united. Only God knows what will happen in these two games."

Injury worries

Cyprus have injury concerns in defence with Stelios Okkarides and new APOEL FC defender Paraskevas Christou doubts for the trips to Georgia and the Republic of Ireland over the coming week. Anorthosis' Georgios Panagi has been called up as cover. "We have some problems that we need to fix before these two tough games," said Anastasiadis. "We also mustn't forget that we have players on yellow cards and the last thing we want is to go into the game in Ireland with more players missing."

Edited by DUDE
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In-Form Makridis on Cyprus Mission

Cyprus midfielder Konstantinos Makridis hopes to carry his outstanding club form with FC Metalurh Donetsk into the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland.

'Very happy'

The 26-year-old creator has taken no time adapting to his new surroundings in Ukraine following a summer switch from APOEL FC – he has scored twice in ten Premier League outings, helping Metalurh Donetsk to second in the table – and is thoroughly enjoying his first spell abroad. "I'm very happy," Makridis told uefa.com. "It's a new experience and it's nice to see the club doing so well. Everything here is really good – the lifestyle, the club, the stadiums and the training facilities," he added.


With a Group 8 trip to Georgia on Saturday preceding a similarly testing visit to Ireland four days later, Makridis' attentions are firmly focused on his country's bid to reach South Africa in 2010. Antonio Di Natale's late goal was all that separated Cyprus and Italy in the first qualifier in Larnaca last month, and confidence remains high in the Cypriot camp. "I believe we've made strides forward this year," said Makridis, who had an important role in Cyprus's impressive if ultimately unsuccessful UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying campaign in which they secured 14 points.

'More united'

"We're in much better shape and we're more united as a team now," continued the schemer, who has registered two goals in 37 internationals. "We just have to show our qualities every time we run on to the pitch. We need to be focused, serious and execute every instruction the coach [Angelos Anastasiadis] gives us in order to repeat the kind of performance we produced against Italy."

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Lol I already posted the article about Makridis in his thread. Anyway, we seem rarin' to go for this one. We can't take Georgia lightly.

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For all the halfies out there(Half-Greek and Half-Cypriot like me), this match's time is set up, so that it'll be over, before the festivities in Peiraia get underway!

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we should have won thank god for mihalaki getting on the score sheet we will take the point the coach of Georgia says his team should have lost by three goals!! We will go for somemore points in Ireland!!!

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We took 4 of 6 points from Ireland and played a key role, in them missing Euro 2008. I'm hoping we channel some of that Wednesday in Dublin

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