A blog about the biggest and best football event we’ve ever organised.

Thursday 5th August

It’s coming up to midnight on a freakishly chilly night for this time of year, and I’m outside the tent staring at the starry night sky because on the radio they’ve  said conditions may just be right for an incredibly rare chance to see the Aurora Borealis flickering in the night sky above  the countryside in the north of England.  But the only strange lights I can see are coming from the next field, where even at this late hour a giant combine harvester is still finishing the marathon harvesting job it started at dawn. I can imagine how anxious the farmer must be when he sees a year of hard work and investment jeopardised by the wet, windy weather forecast for the next couple of days, so he’s taking no chances. Anyway,  he’s probably heard tht 500 renegade footballers are going to be descending like hungry locusts on the field next door and so he’s trying to save his precious wheat crop while he can!

At Republica Internationale FC we’ve put in  a year’s hard work too, organising this massive event: Yorkshire’s Alternative World Cup. I’m guessing that personally I’ve put well over  a thousand hours of work into this,  looking for a venue, pricing equipment and suppliers, holding about thirty meetings of one kind or another, writing bloody minutes, financial projections, proposals, e-mail-outs  and and above all organising fund-raisers to try to make sure we won’t lose money on all this.  My partner Claire’s put in at least another thousand hours, and we’ve had to put some of our own money behind this too, as have several of our friends.

But it’s too late to be worried now. The main “Big Top” marquee is up and the beer’s been  delivered ! Trying to keep things as non-corporate as possible, and hoping to educate a few drinkers this weekend too. Keeping it real  thanks to John at Blue Monkey Brewery !

The bar’s been built and, while I was fiddling around with the barrels, someone had spontaneously decorated it by the time I looked again !

The stage and lighting rigs are in place !

(together with palatial backstage  area )

Banners have started to arrive ! Some of them are real works of art.

We’ve spent most of the day shifting van-loads of stuff from Leeds and assembling the site.  Our 500 guests, consisting of 36 football teams from at least 9 different countries will be arriving tomorrow, so it’s time to lean back on our newly-built bar and toast the fact that after 12 years going all over Europe to such brilliant football tournaments, we’re finally ready to host a big one of our own. So FFS let’s have a pint – we deserve it !

Friday 6th August: day one of  YAWC

Our wonderful catering volunteers have got things up and running smoothly by lunchtime…  no outside catering or crappy burger vans here, just good healthy nosh at non-rip-off prices from volunteers who want to help our event to break even. We might  maybe make a few quid for our good causes.

But just because we’ve been preparing for this all year long,  it doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t have an undignified last-minute scramble to get things ready … like our  cocktail bar … Wait a minute ! What are those 13 year-old lads doing in the bar ??

Ah, that’s alright, they’re just playing on the table footy.

The bloody  wind keeps blowing our decor all over the place – I’ve certainly got more important things to be doing than continually re-attaching banners to fences …

…. and I think we were still building these benches when  all the teams started to arrive !


But now, ladies and gentlemen boys and girls, Yorkshire’s Alternative World Cup really has begun !! Because the squad of twenty-five Brazilians are here !!  Wecome FC Autonomos all the way from Sao Paolo !!

Welcome too to our Polish team, Boys  Łęknica

………..the Vikings FC from Norway… via Bradford

… last year’s hosts, I.C.E. from Stuttgart !

… and even the Irish have put in an appearance ….

OK, so you get the idea. 36 teams from 9 countries….

and now that the portaloos are here ….

………….the party can really start !

Saturday 7th August: Day Two of YAWC

We’ve got sixteen mens’ eleven-a-side teams in four groups, twelve women’s seven-a-side teams in two groups, eight men’s eleven-a-side teams in two groups … did I mention by the way that because of a local cricket match on the Saturday taking up some of our footy pitch space it meant we had to start our group games on Friday evening ?

…then at least two knock-out matches for every team tomorrow, Sunday...That’s a lot of football, so you’re probably expecting a lot of results or something. But personally I was so busy re-stocking bars, washing up, clearing rubbish, and chairing  a discussion  about our footy tour of Palestine last May that I can’t tell you any of the results.

The results aren’t important because, apart from working hard, this Saturday was really about finding out about what the other clubs in our network have been doing, finding out about the causes our tournament is supporting, with stalls or information points set up by (please click on the links to find out  more)  The Palestine Solidarity Campaign The Justin Fashanu All Stars , Kiptik health projects , St. Pauli Fanladen , The White Ribbon Campaign , and the Football Supporters Federation

Many thanks to all of them for their presence during our weekend.

Thanks too to everyone who entertained us, e.g. the FC St. Pauli women with their surreal sketch:

And our bands, like mod rockers Metro and  clashy skapunksters The Ratistas

One a.m.  saw a not unexpected visit from the council’s environmental noise people, who’d had a complaint from the village and threatened to take away our licence for tomorrow if there were any more complaints tonight! So we took things down a notch or two and just carried on. Meanwhile as the night got chilly again outside, there was a good old barbecue to warm us up ….   and the merchandise stall was doing good business in hoodies if not quite as well as we expected on t-shirts:

Even more importantly from a break-even point of view, the hip-and-happening, down-and-dirty dive known as the “Cocktail Baaa” carried on doing its roaring trade almost till dawn.

Sunday 8th August: third and final day of YAWC

Well, to cut a long story short it was a day of triumph for Easton Cowboys FC, who were really the inspiration behind this whole thing in the first place. It was at their Alternative World Cup 1998 that we first dreamed of organising such an event in Yorkshire, and with a lot of help from friends like the Cowboys and like Bradford’s 1-in-12 club, that dream had finally come true.

Everyone gathers to watch the finals of 3 separate tournaments

Two separate Easton Cowboys teams defeated ICE Neckarstrasse of Stuttgart in the 11-a-side final and OHV of Berlin in the 7-a-side final. The women’s tournament was won by a Bradford Vikings team who defeated Republica women in the final. An emotional ceremony in which all 36 teams picked up a trophy was then followed by a brilliant (and very moving) gig by our friend Attila the Stockbroker

Then we had punk classics from Leeds veterans Radio Partisan

and a set from Brazilian youngsters Zine, before Claire (aka DJ Blue) took over once again till the small hours… thankfully with no further visits from the council noise people.

Things got messy of course. Casualties were strewn all over the marquees, the playing fields and the campsite.

The next day would see fifteen solid hours of dismantling the site, cleaning up and transporting stuff back to Leeds. But tomorrow was still another few hours of partying away …

And if I look wrecked in this picture you should have seen where and how I finally lost consciousness at 6.30 a.m. Not  a pretty sight site !

Monday 9th August: Post-script and thanks

The fund-raising programme that floated our tournament, as well as a small surplus on the event itself, made sure that YAWC 2010 raised over £3,500 for good causes including a school in Palestine, water and sanitation projects in Zapatista communities in Chiapas,  a social-inclusion-through-women’s-footy project in a Nairobi shanty town, and the White Ribbon Campaign in the UK  (men against violence against women). Everyone involved can be very proud !

Once again, please click on the links to find out more about the causes we supported and will continue to support:  Kiptik health projects, The White Ribbon Campaign, Old is Gold Slum Youth Project and the Khalet Zekariyah School in Palestine.

Thanks to Ruffoth PFA for hosting us. Friendly people, excellent facilities. Thanks to the Football Supporters’ Federation and to Football Against Racism in Europe.

Thanks to all the teams who took part in YAWC 2010: FC Vova (Lithuania),  Old Firm United (Glasgow), Autonomos FC (Sao Paulo, Brazil ),OHV (Berlin), Hebden Bridge Aliens & Old Gits (Yorkshire), Boys Leknica (Poland),  Lunatics FC (Antwerp,Belgium), Kampfende Herzen (Freiburg, Germany) )ASV (Filderstadt, Germany) & ICE (Stuttgart)Wessex Allstars (Wessex, England)  The Yard re-United (Devon, England) Red Star (Bedminster, England),  Refugee World XI (The World), Justin Fashanu Allstars (Brighton),  Abfahrt Bambule (Hamburg), Boca Vale (York ), St Pauli Skinheads & Fanladen (Hamburg & Easton),  Werder Woodhouse (Leeds) Bradford Vikings (Oslo), FC St Pauli Women(Hamburg), Hex Pistols (Freiburg), Easton Cowgirls (Bristol), Die Letze Held (Hannover),  Roter Stern (Leipzig) Justin Fasahnu All Stars (Yorkshire),  Rude Lions (Copenhagen), Republica Internationale FC (Leeds), Easton Cowboys (Bristol) & 1-in- 12 AFC (Bradford).

Paul from the Easton Cowboys,  Degs from Boca York and Rob, Dom and Andy from the 1-in-12 deserve special mentions for their help.

Thanks to all the bands and performers. Massive respect to Joe, our guest chef  from Hearty Sandwich cafe, Leeds.

Thanks to Realize Events of Harrogate for their flexibility and hard work.

Thanks to Pat and his team from Eco Events of Colne for everything, especially the wonderful Big Top that encapsulated the spirit of our event

Thanks to everyone who brought creative ideas. Thanks for not being sheep ! So goodnight campers ! We hope to see you all at another brilliant event somewhere else in Europe next year!

  1. Your blog is greatly valuable. Thank you so much for a lot of very worthwhile blog topics.

  2. […] surgir depois da experiência autônoma na Yorkshire Alternative World Cup, em 2010, hospedada pelo Republica Internationale FC, de orientação antifascista, quando uma delegação de 26 brasileiros retribuiu a visita dos […]

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