The 2009 VIVA World Cup in Padania

You may have never heard of the VIVA World Cup. I don’t blame you; it’s quite a low-key affair. But let me explain to you exactly what this obscure competition is.

Every year (previously every two years), the unrecognised peoples of the world compete for the right to be called world champion. In 2006 in Occitania (southern France), Sápmi (Lapland), Monaco, and Occitania competed, with Sápmi defeating Monaco 21-1 in the final in Hyères. Two years later, in 2008, in Sápmi, six teams took part: Sápmi, Padania (northern Italy), Provence (southern France), Iraqi Kurdistan, and Arameans Survoye (a team representing the Assyrian minority in Sweden). Padania were tehe eventual victors, defeating Arameans Survoye 2-0 in Gällivare.

Now this summer, in Padania, a record number of six teams will face off for the Nelson Mandela Cup: defending champions and hosts Padania, 2006 champions Sápmi, 2006 hosts Occitania, 2008 debutants Iraqi Kurdistan and Provence, and newcomers Gozo (island off Malta).

2009 VIVA World Cup Venues

There are four host cities for the World Cup:

Stadio Franco Ossola (9,926). Home to Serie C2 side AS Varese.

Stadio Mario Rigamonti (27,547). Home to Serie B side Brescia Calcio.

Stadio Silvio Piola (8,810). Home to Serie C1 Side Novara Calcio.

Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi (39,211). Home to Serie A side Chievo Verona and Serie C1 side Hellas Verona.

2009 VIVA World Cup Predictions

Rules: 3 teams in each group, each team plays eachother once, the top two in each progress to a semi final stage. The winners go on to the final, the losers to the 3rd/4th place final, and the two teams who finish bottom in the group to the 5th/6th place final.

Group A: Padania, Occitania, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Group B: Sápmi, Provence, Gozo.

I believe that in Group A, Padania will record comfortable wins and finish top, with Iraqi Kurdistan coming second. Occitania were woeful in 2006, and haven’t improved since. Iraqi Kurdistan were decent last year, so they should easily finish second.

In Group B, 2006 champions Sápmi will definitely finish first. Gozo are an unknown quantity, but I expect them to finish second because of Provence. Provence were horrible last year, losing all of their matches by two goals or more.

Semifinal 1: Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up
Semifinal 2: Group B winner vs. group B runner-up

Predicted Semifinals: Padania vs. Gozo and Sápmi vs. Iraqi Kurdistan.

Predicted Final: I strongly believe that the final will be Padania vs. Sápmi. They are easily the best out of the six teams. Although I think Padania are stronger than Sápmi, the 2006 champions can not and should not be written off.


Monday June 22nd:

Stadio Silvio Piola, Novara
17:00 Gozo-Provence
21:00 Padania-Occitania

Tuesday June 23rd

Stadio Franco Ossola, Varese
17:00 Provence-Sápmi
21:00 Occitania-Iraqi Kurdistan

Wednesday June 24th

Stadio Mario Rigamonti, Brescia
17:00 Sápmi-Gozo
21:00 Iraqi Kurdistan-Padania

Thursday June 25th

Stadio Franco Ossola, Varese
17:00 Semifinal 1
21:00 Semifinal 2

Friday June 26th

Stadio Mario Rigamonti, Brescia
17:00 5th/6th Place Final
21:00 3rd/4th Place Final

Saturday June 27th

Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, Verona
17:00 Final

What are your predictions?

Also See: The 2009 VIVA World Cup Preview.

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