EUROPEADA being guest in South Tyrol
There are more than 400 minorities in Europe; almost 100 are united in FUEN. The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) was founded in Paris in 1949 with the aim to preserve and promote the identity, language, culture, rights and unique characteristics of the European minorities.
The eventful history of Europe and the reshaping of the continent after the two World Wars caused that almost every seventh European belong to an autochthonous minority on the territory of a different state.
Therefore a tough effort is required to maintain these identities and to counteract assimilation. The fall of the Iron Curtain has opened up new possibilities and enables new encounters.
Sport creates space for such encounters, in particular football with its worldwide presence. The idea to start a minority championship in order to draw attention for the linguistic and cultural richness of Europe was quickly embraced.
During a FUEN Congress, the name of EUROPEADA was born at a football match between a FUEN selection and a local team. In the run-up to the European Championship for national teams in 2008, the name became Europe-wide known as in the Swiss canton of Grisons a football tournament for minority teams was organised under the name of EUROPEADA.
Switzerland, with its four national languages and the area of the small Romansh minority guaranteed a successful premiere. Seventeen selections, including some professional players and a women’s team, responded to the invitation of FUEN and Lia Rumantscha, the umbrella organisation of the Romansh associations.
The first winner was the team of the South Tyroleans, who in the final beat the Croatian minority in Serbia with 1:0. The prominent support from sports and politics, the good combination of music, folklore and cultural exchange enthused both organisers and participants.
Because of this huge success it was decided that this event should be held every four years, in parallel with the UEFA European Championship. The second edition was held in 2012 in the region of Lusatia, in the German border region near Poland and the Czech Republic.
It was organised by Domowina, the Federation of Lusatian Sorbs. This time already nineteen teams coming from twelve different European countries competed for the title. New rules restricted participation to the best amateur players. Again, there was a nice combination of sports and encounter. The German speaking South-Tyroleans were able to defend the title; they beat the Roma from Hungary with 3:1.
In 2016 the tournament is going to be held in South Tyrol. For the first time 24 men’s teams will take part in the championship. Moreover, also a tournament for six women teams is being organised. It is organised by the German-speaking Tyroleans and the Ladins. The EUROPEADA 2016 will take place from 18-26 June at eight game venues in the Pustertal Valley and Badia Valley.
The participants (men)
Lusatian Sorbs, Danes in Germany, North Frisians (GER)
Roma, Slovaks in Hungary, Germans in Hungary (HUN)
Hungarians in Romania, Aromanians (ROU)
Germans in Russia (RUS)
Carinthian Slovenes (AUT)
Germans in Denmark (DAN)
Crimean Tatars (UKR)
Turkish Minority of Western Thrace (GRE)
Minority Selection from Estonia (EST)
Germans in Poland (POL)
Hungarians in Slovakia (SVK)
Serbs in Croatia (CRO)
Croats in Serbia (SRB)
German-speaking South Tyroleans, Ladins, Cimbrians (ITA)
The participants (women)
Lusatian Sorbs (GER)
Germans in Russia (RUS)
German-speaking South Tyroleans, Ladins (ITA)