The fixture schedule and venues for the 2019 CONIFA Sportsbet.io European Football Cup has been announced, as excitement builds towards the tournament in Artsakh taking place in early June.
Following the unfortunate withdrawal of four teams (Donetsk, Luhansk, Sardinia, and County of Nice), the tournament format will now be two groups of four teams, rather than the four groups of three drawn at the CONIFA AGM in January. Artsakh, Sapmi, Abkhazia, and Chameria now make up Group A, with Padania, Szekely Land, Western Armenia, and South Ossetia comprising Group B. The groups will use a round-robin format, in which they play every other team in their group once.
The national Stepanakert Republican Stadium will hold the opening ceremony on 1st June, with a diverse group of performers set to open the tournament in style. It will also be the venue for Artsakh’s opening Group A match against Sapmi at 6.30pm local time on 2nd June. The other fixture in that group, between Abkhazia and Chameria, will get the football action underway at 4pm.
The group stages will operate with a schedule of four group matches per day on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th June. The 6th will see the semi-finals, as the winners of each group take on the 2nd-placed side in the other group. Sunday 9th June will be the grand finale in Stepanakert as the two semi-final victors go head-to-head for the title.
The 8th will feature the conclusion of the placement games, which ensure every side which makes the journey to Artsakh plays the same number of games. The 5th and 7th June have been allocated as rest days, and will focus on a wide range cultural events around the region.
In addition to the impressive 12,000-capacity arena in Stepanakert, matches will be divided between three further stadiums, all within an hour’s car journey from the city. The Askeran City Stadium, the home of last year’s inaugural Artsakh Football League runners-up Berd Askeran, will host 5 games in total, including one of the semi-finals.
The towns of Martakert and Martuni will also see plenty of action across the tournament, with Martuni staging the host’s final two group stage fixtures. All venues have undergone improvement work to prepare them for the footballing festivities.
The tournament promises to be a densely packed week of football, and all competing teams can now plot their route to the CONIFA Sportsbet.io European Football Cup final.
For the full list of venues and timings, see here. Stay tuned for information about tickets, live streaming and our coverage of the tournament by following us on CONIFA’s social media: