The new WMF and EMF joint strategy determined that the major international competition of 2019 will be the WMF World Cup in Perth, Australia and that EMF EURO from this year on will be every second year starting 2020. However the need for a European high level competition still remained both for the countries who needed preparation matches for WMF World Cup and for countries who didn’t qualify but still needed international fixtures for their national teams’ development.
The first event of the Nations Games ended yesterday in Galanta, Slovakia with 4 of Europe’s strongest minifootball teams: Czech Republic, Hungary, England and the host country, Slovakia. All matches were broadcasted live on Slovak TV and hundreds of spectators turned us to watch the matches in a specially erected minifootball specific stadium.
Reigning World and European Champions, Czech Republic, won the competition with 6 points, while host country Slovakia celebrated and historic win over their Czech neighbors 4:3 in the final match. Hungary returned with mixed feelings after almost beating Czech Republic after a promising 2-1 lead but eventually losing 4-2. England were the most disappointed team, returning home with 2 losses and 1 draw.
Nation Games 2019, Galanta, Slovakia, Results:
Czech Republic 5:2 England
Hungary 1:1 Slovakia
England 1:1 Slovakia
Czech Republic 4:2 Hungary
England 2:5 Hungary
Czech Republic 3:4 Slovakia
Following the successful event, more Nations Games tournaments will be played this summer. EMF Executive Committee member, Yair Scher explained: “We analyzed the advantages of short 4 team competitions for our members and realized that our members can enjoy national team development for much lower organizational and travel costs than EMF EURO.” EMF looked also at UEFA younger age categories where 4 team international tournaments are played on a regular basis. “Minifootball is a developing sport and national team events push forward the playing level and the organization capabilities of our members.”