The annual EUROCOPA Walking Football Tournament was held last month, hosted at Ferreiras Football Club, Estádio da Nora, Albufeira.
The impressive tournament, which is usually played in April, was moved to October due to Covid restrictions.
However, this did not deter any of the 19 teams and their supporters from participating in this ever-growing event.
The preliminary round draw was shown live on https://www.facebook.com/eurocopaalgarve/videos/450976846258876 assisted by Clive Jewell, Vice Consul to the British Consulate.
With many old and new teams competing from UK, Malaga FC from Spain, Athletic Club from Bilbao, Basque Country and defending champions Luso Africa, and not forgetting our local teams SC Farense, from East Algarve Olhão and Tavira, Odiáxere and Benfica from Lisbon, categories of 50+ and 60+ were played out over two days.
At the end of the final day, the 50+ final saw a local derby between EA Tavira and EA Olhão. The hard-fought final finished 3-3 resulting in a nail-biting penalty shootout. Olhão missed their first two whilst Tavira held firm to make theirs count and lift the Champions trophy.
Seaton Carew from County Durham took the 60+ Champions trophy back to England beating SC Farense 2-0.
Other trophy winners were Luso Africa from South Africa who defeated Athletic Club from Bilbao to lift the 50+ Plate trophy and Athletic Club were victorious in winning the 60+ Plate Trophy.
The two-day event was a huge success enjoyed by competitors and supporters alike. With Albufeira Mayor, José Carlos Rolo, presenting the trophies to the winners, it was certainly a memorable tournament for all. The atmosphere was lively and exhilarant and brought many different nationalities and cultures together.
All the teams left promising to return next year and already other new teams are booking their places for 2022.
If you wish to see more of EuroCopa 2021, go to https://www.facebook.com/eurocopaalgarve
If you would like any further information on walking football or about EuroCopa 2022 to be played on April 25 and 26, email Gary at [email protected]
Gary Thomas, founder of Algarve Football Tours
By GARY THOMAS