This essay looks at football's role in the Cyprus conflict since Turkish Cypriot clubs broke away from the Cyprus Football Association in 1955. Studying the history of football in the context of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots after the island's invasion by Turkey in 1974, and subsequent declaration of independence in 1983, it examines football's role in trying to establish the idea of Turkish Cyprus as a nation, including the launching of a national team and the hosting of a tournament for fellow pariah national teams. The essay looks into the impact of such lobbying as to how FIFA eventually intervened to host a first official meeting between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot associations and how football has been manipulated for political ends. This research was presented as a paper at the Play The Game conference from October 28 to November 2 2007. A written paper was published in the journal Soccer and Society in 2010.