The fourth edition of the VIVA World Cup gets underway at the Gozo Stadium on Monday with the first matches from the two groups. Six teams are taking part in the tournament organised by the New-Federation Board, an umbrella association for regions unaffiliated with FIFA.
Gozo were paired with holders Padania and Occitania in Group 1 while Iraqi Kurdistan, Provence and Regno delle Due Sicilie will be playing in Group 2.
In the opening matches on Monday, Kurdistan take on Regno delle Due Sicilie while Gozo host Padania, kick-off at 17:30 and 20:15. The opening ceremony will be held at 19:25.
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 which was held in Occitania in 2006, will not take part in this year’s tournament. Padania won the second and third editions which were held in Samiland and in Padania in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Gozo first took part last year, placing fifth.
Monday 31st May
17:30 Kurdistan vs Regno delle Due Sicilie
19:25 Opening Ceremony
20:15 Gozo vs Padania
Tuesday 1st June
17:30 Regno delle Due Sicilie vs Provenza
19:30 Padania vs Occitania
Wednesday 2nd June
17:30 Provenza vs Kurdistan
19:30 Occitania vs Gozo
Thursday 3rd June
20:00 Gozo vs Padania (Women’s First Leg)
Friday 4th June
15:30 Final 5/6 Place
17:30 Semi-Final 1
19:30 Semi-Final 2
Saturday 5th June
14:00 Final 3rd/4th Place
16:00 Padania vs Gozo (Women’s Second Leg)