Announcement | FA Elba Island to meet Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Announcing the official CONIFA friendly match between the national teams of FA Elba Island and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
On 8 December 2021 at 11.00 am (CET), an official CONIFA friendly match between the national team of the Island of Elba, the host, and the national team of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, will be played at the Antonio Lupi Stadium in Portoferraio, Livorno, sponsored by CONI, the Tuscany Region and the Municipality of Portoferraio.
Admission will be free, although there will be a limit on spectators due to rules regarding Covid-19. All in attendance must be in possession of a green pass and follow the rules set out to access the stadium. For those in attendance on the day, the match will be streamed live via Eleven Sports.
On 7 December 2021 at 5.00 pm (CET), an official press conference will be held at Hotel Villa Ombrosa in Portoferraio. The President of the national team of Elba, Gaetano D’auria, will take part, as will the President of the national team of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Massimo Amitrano.
They will be joined by CONIFA Vice President Kristof Wenczel, the European President of CONIFA, Alberto Rischio, CONIFA European Secretary, Piotr Podlewski, Manager of the European Club Cup, Givi Todua, the captains of the two national teams and South Ossetian Diplomat, Mauro Murgia.
The Island of Elba’s 11-a-side football team will select its players from among the seven football teams on the island plus others who study, work or play on the continent.
The technical staff, composed of Denis Dedja, Valerio Magrone and Alessandro Deledda, is already at work to summon the 18 lucky players for the historic debut, in addition to the indisputable presences of captain Francesco Ferrini and Federico Todella, who was top scorer at the Mediterranean Cup of Sanremo earlier this year.
President Gaetano D’auria said: “This match for the FA Island of Elba, in addition to being the debut, represents a historic day for the whole of our island. Beyond the result on the pitch between us and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, it will certainly be a day of celebration for sport and for all of us.”
The national team of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies has approached the commitment with the curiosity of the “first times” and the determination of those who want to do well in such an important field.
Their squad selector, Ludovico Lanzilli, is preparing in the best possible way. Commitment, respect and healthy competition are the values that will be put on the field. Players will be called up from all regions of Southern Italy, with some former Serie A stars present to embellish the squad of the Sicilian-duo national team.
For President Massimo Amitrano, it is an important first step towards the European Football Cup of 2022, to be held in Nice. He said: “We will represent the territory of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies, we are charged and confident.”
The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) comprises 65 affiliated federations around the world and represents international football teams from nations, de facto nations, regions, minorities and isolated territories, using football to enhance global relations and international understanding.
CONIDA members have a combined population of over 409 million worldwide and are connected to nations that make up over 1.1 billion of the global population.
The Antonio Lupi stadium is located in the town of Portoferraio in Carburo and is approved to host 1,000 spectators but, in compliance with anti-covid rules, only half of the spectators, all holders of regular green passes, will be able to attend the match.
Portoferraio, with 13,000 inhabitants, holds a central position on the island due to all the services it offers and is in fact considered the capital of Elba.
The Portoferraio football team is the Audace Portoferraio which, with its 300 players, manages the two football fields and all the services in the Lupi stadium.
CONIFA Vice President Kristof Wenczel said: “I am extremely delighted that after almost two very difficult years, CONIFA is returning to its real activity. Today we have the opportunity to celebrate two debuting teams of our organization which clearly demonstrate the power and the steady growth of our CONIFA family.
“I am absolutely convinced that CONIFA will return bigger, stronger and brighter. I am absolutely convinced that these two teams will have a very long and successful journey with all fellow CONIFA teams.
“Today the participating teams not only represent and celebrate their people and region but all the ones who participate and follow all our teams: more than half a billion people all over the world. Thank you Elba, thank you Two Sicilies!”
CONIFA European President, Alberto Rischio, added: “More than two years since Stepanakert’s final of Artsakh EFC 2019, Europe is back on the green rectangle. For Elba and Due Sicilie it will be the official baptism with this friendly match.
“I am happy to be present personally because we worked a lot with Elba to make her become an active member of CONIFA in 2020.”
Roger Lundbäck, Referee Director, concluded: “Finally we’re back on track with football games and it’s fantastic that Elba and Two Sicilies can play against each other.
“We have high expectations that it will be a good game and Team Sasso is ready for refereeing this game. Good luck Mariano Sasso, Maria Guastafierro, Pasquale Esposito and Vecchiarelli Francesco.”