South Tyrol wins in sunny “Sorbistan”
In glorious football weather and with the eyes of 2000 spectators in Müllerwiese Stadium in Bautzen / Budysin on them, the team from South Tyrol were able to win the EUROPEADA 2012 tournament. That means that the South Tyroleans have won for the second time already, after they won the first EUROPEADA in Graubünden, Switzerland, in 2008 too. The winners of the FUEN-tournament beat the very young team of the Roma from Hungary with 3:1. In the match for the third place that took place before the final, the Croats from Serbia beat the Carinthian Slovenes in a close 1:0 victory. The 19 teams played many fair matches in the beautiful bilingual region of Lusatia. Most of the teams stayed till the final and they were all cheered up by a large group of enthusiastic fans. Especially the Sorbian hosts were celebrated with a deafening noise. “Even though you did not make it into the final, you are the team of our hearts”, said the chairman of Domowina, David Statnik, to the players in the Stadium. Domowina is the umbrella organisation of the Lusatian Sorbs and celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. “ I cannot image a better highlight”, said a satisfied chairman David Statnik.
In the stadium in Bautzen there were many happy faces, but one face glowed with particular pride, namely that of FUEN-president Hans Heinrich Hansen. With 94 member organisations in 32 European countries, FUEN is the largest umbrella organisation of the autochthonous national minorities and the organiser of the EUROPEADA. “What a great tournament. We owe this to many, many active volunteers and helpers; from the tournament management to those active in sports associations and municipalities. With this marvellous event we showed what the minorities of Europe are capable of. Welshmen, Occitans, Roma, Germans from Russia – they are part of this genuine European diversity. There is no way you can show that any more evident than we have done in the past ten days”, said Hans Heinrich Hansen. Also Gojko Sinde from the West-Lusatian Football Federation, who was in charge of the sportive management of the tournament, was very satisfied. We had a fair tournament, with many high quality matches and a lot of good teams.” The organisers counted more than 15,000 spectators. The Carinthian Slovene player Gerald Völbl is the top scorer with 9 goals. The tournament did not pass by without some political controversy. In Greece, several media were very critical and sharp about the participation of the Western Thrace Turks. In Greece, the official authorities are ignoring this minority. “We first and for all stand for the minorities – and we are very pleased that our friends from Western Thrace were there and achieved a respectable result for the Greek region of Western Thrace as a whole”, said the president of FUEN. The popular “language diversity team” gave reason for completely different headlines. The team used the EUROPEADA indefatigably in order to promote multilingualism in Europe. This is also the aim for which the FUEN-project “language diversity” is financially supported by the European Commission. Without the clapping-boards, jelly-babies and energy-drinks the EUROPEADA would certainly have been significantly more monolingual. The next venue for the EUROPEADA in 2016 is not yet known, but there have already been some inquiries: the able Sorbs have set a high bar with this great tournament!
Press Release Europeada 2012