VIVA World Cup: Gozo drawn with Padania, Occitania

Gozo were paired with holders Padania and Occitania in Group 1 of the VIVA World Cup 2010 which will be hosted by the Gozo Football Association between May 31 and June 6. Six teams will be taking part in all, with the other teams being Iraqi Kurdistan, Provence and Regno delle Due Sicilie.

This will be the second time Gozo will be taking part after placing fifth last year when the tournament was held in Padania – Northern Italy.

Padania won the last two editions of the competition, beating Arameans Suryoye 2-0 in 2008 and Iraqi Kurdistan 2-0 last year.

Occitania, a team comprised of players who can speak the medieval language of Occitan found in southern France, Monaco and parts of Italy, have already met Gozo last year in the final for fifth place, winning 2-1. However Gozo were awarded fifth place after filing a protest.

Last year’s finalists – Iraqi Kurdistan start as favourites in Group 2. The French region of Provence placed fourth in 2009. The other side is the Regno delle Due Sicilie which represents southern Italy and Sicily. This will be their first appearance in the competition after being accepted as a provisional member of the N.F.-Board earlier this year.

Sapmi, who won the first edition of the VIVA World Cup, will not take part in this year’s tournament.

Matches will be played at the Gozo Stadium and the Sannat Ground.

Meanwhile for the first time, a women’s tournament – WOMEN VIVA World Cup 2010 – featuring Gozo, Padania and Corsica will also be held at the same time as the men’s event.