Gozo Football Association to host VIVA World Cup
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During the General Meeting of the NF Board held in Milan, the Gozo Football Association has been awarded the bid to organize the third edition of the VIVA World Cup 2010. The Gozo FA was competing in the bid with FA’s from the Padania and Kurdistan.
The GFA President Mr Alvin Grech said that it had been very difficult to win the bid especially due to the strong competition of the Padania association. However, the NF Board’s decision was wise in finding a compromise between the members. Mr Grech stated that they are expecting around eight senior teams for the tournament and four female teams. As regards the participation of the players for the representative team from Gozo, the president stated that every player who is eligible to play as a Gozitan in the local competition will be eligible to form part of the Gozo team.
The president pointed out that as soon as the GFA finalizes its contract with the NF Board, the following stage will consist in the enormous task to set up an organisation to handle an international event of this level. The GFA will be setting up an organising committee that will be responsible for the necessary contacts and preparation work.
When asked whether such a participation of the GFA would compromise the relationship with the MFA, Mr Grech said that he could not see any reason why there should be any problems, especially in the light that there are other associations which are affiliated with the national Football Association. Mr Grech concluded by pointing out that the main aim of the NF Board is to organize football on international level between Associations that otherwise cannot have such an opportunity.
The General secretary of the GFA Mr Joe Bajada, who was responsible for the presentation of the bid, said that they managed to prepare the presentation although they had a limited period available. Mr Bajada said that the presentation, which was prepared together with colleagues Philip Cassar and Mark Cini, consisted of a 20 minute DVD where it not only exposed the GFA activities and its organization, but showed some of the most beautiful shots of the Gozitan landscape, which helped in the final choice to select Gozo as the destination for the VIVA World Cup 2010.
The GFA general secretary said that the contest with Padania was very challenging as the delegation of the Italian region was formed of around twenty members. The chairperson of the delegation was the renowned Serie A referee Mario Mazzoleni, from the Bergamo section. Padania had great interest to win the bid and had political support through Ministers Bossi and Maroni who come from this region. As the NF Board realised how it became difficult to choose between the two strong candidates of Padania and Gozo, it was unanimously decided that a special edition of the World Cup will be held in Padania in 2009 and the 2010 edition will be held in Gozo. The tournament in Padania will take place in the stadiums of Como, Bergamo, Varese and Verona while the final will be played at San Siro in Milan.
Mr. Bajada said that the NF Board is an organization formed of football associations and federations that are not members of FIFA. The organization was founded in 2003. The General secretary stated that although the NF Board originally suggested that this meeting is held in Belgium to be at an independent place from the candidate association. However, the GFA accepted the invitation of Padania to organize this General Meeting in their region because the Gozo FA believes that football should be a means of collaboration between people and not means to create divisions and problems. This factor was also very much appreciated by the delegations of other associations.