Antti P who was given the glorious job of Director in Charge of Cyprus made the job a success. His liaison with our local spy R2 as well as the precise organisation made sure our high altitude peace camp re-started the Cyprus peace negotiations
Christian P has started writing songs and has come up with new ones about Marcus G, Paul O'B and several others. Live versions of early rehearsals might become available on iTunes shortly
Henri W - well, there's always something to report. But this time on a positive note as he did not cause an international incident in Cyprus
Finland United will be taking part in the celebrations for 100 years of Finland, 110 years of Finnish Football Federation, 100 years of Estonia (next year by playing a friendly against FC Estonia Brussels on 10 June.
Event starts at 12.00 with junior matches first. Families, friends, any supporters are very welcome. This event is to celebrate 100 years of Finland and 99 years of Estonia. Over 100 matches are played between teams of the 2 countries on the day ( http://100games.eu/ )
12:15-12:45 U8 2x15min
12:30-13:05 U10 2x15min
13:15-13:45 U13 2x15min
14:00-15:45 Main event, men's match 2x45mins
#palloliitto110 #suomi100 #suomieesti100 #100games #eesti100
”Are we here to WIN?” ”NO”. ”Are we here to WIN?” ”NO”. ”Are we here to WIN?” ”NO”, was shouted before the match between Finland United and Turkish Cypriot team in Friendship cup in Cyprus last Friday. I think it doesn't surprise you that it was FU shouting that. Ironic people we are, we can do that before a match and still try to win it.
And win we tried, because watching the first match, where Greek Cypriot team met Cyprus International, it seemed that FU really could have a chance in the tournament. Well, maybe in this first match, which took place in Turkish side of Nikosia, our winning apetite was a bit lost. It was a bit strange game, because we have been warned not to tackle and play it easy. If the Turkish team was warned also, they didn't obey it. Game was friendly in spirit, but Turks played properly and tough. We were a bit soft because of warnings (and also because of the heat and staying out there all day) and that turned the match for Turks (3-0). Jokke by the way made a few great saves that kept our hopes up until close to final minutes. But this first match taught us that these people can fight in the match but leave it on the pitch and we can play normally, just leave hardest tackles away.
Lesson learned and we were much better prepared for the second match on Saturday against Cyprus International. This time it was at Greek side of Nikosia and without police patrolling and hanging out around the stadium. Off course we were constantly reminded, that we are very close to a possible conflict area, by looking at the one end of the pitch. There we saw a Greek side watchtower and soldier patrolling with a rynkky looking at the other side.
Liv warmed us up properly and we were ready and started with determination to score early. Well, we didn't, and they had one shot and one goal. This was our best match and we faced the easiest team in the tournament. But scoring, like so many times this season, was the heel of the achilles. And let's be honest, in our resent matches (including play outs) we have had multiple chances, where most of the blind handicapped in a wheelchair would have scored. And without goals it is like Finland in the Eurovision song contest, zero puan.
But our achievement in this tournament were elsewhere than winning in the pitch. We had a change to be part of the tournament where first ever friendly Sunday league level football match between Greek and Turkish sides of Cyprus teams took place. And part of that historical match is thanks to FU's initiative to visit Cyprus and almost rest to our dear and beloved (and hopefully enough thanked) peacemaker Arttu. After the decision to visit the island, things started to roll and in the end tournament was under European Comission's wings as a very small but as rare step to get these two sides closer.
And Finland United also showed important example in third match. We had dark blue shirts and Greek Cypriot team had black. Shirts were too alike in color and there were no away shirts. Simple solution was that one of the teams would play without shirts. I don’t know how this conversation went, but soon there was a decision that FU plays with skin. No problem, shirts off and game on. Afterwards Arttu told us that the opponents manager told that they wouldn't have taken their shirts off. It was a matter of pride with something complicated and impossible for a Finn to understand in it. Any way Arttu told us that it was also a lesson for them. FU showed that you can sometimes let it go and continue without losing your face. This was something they were not very familiar with. This was only a Sunday league football match, but you can see same tendensy in high level negotiations aiming to reunify the island. We off course didn't understand that at the time, everyone just took their shirts off. Actually for Samu it was easier to take his shirt off than to hold on his pride. The shirt teared his nipples until they bled (nännit verillä) and his pride was happy when that was fixed. Any way Finland United did at that moment something that future generations will remember as disrobe diplomacy. Unfortunately it didn't help us to win the game. Stronger and more skillful team won 3-0. Best player of the tournament, a Brazilian professional looking for a contract, scored twice.
In this historical match between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, people that have been separated for decades, showed that they can play football against each other and leave fighting to the pitch. They played with great tempo and enthusiasm and both teams wanted to win. But it was a fair game and no provocation happened. Everybody shook hands afterwards and teams watched Champions League final together. There at the final banquette Finland United again shoved humor and ability to ease atmosphere by celebrating fourth place and zero goals like winners. We sung our songs, kissed the fourth place trophy (first one ever) and drank beer from it.
Outside the tournament we, you know, had enough beer and at least enough sun and tactical speculation. And not enough food and sleep of course. Nobody got badly hurt, only injury was David’s knee, which will be ok after a few weeks rest. These stories are something that stay in FU folklore and it is better to hear it from your team mates, than me try to find words to write them. And these stories you will hear anyway, years if I am not totally wrong.
And we still have a chance on Saturday to avoid Sláns song: ”Paul O'Brian never scores, hi-ai hi-ai ho”, to turn to: ”Finland United never scores, hi-ai hi-ai ho”. I have no idea how the next sentence in the song would turn to and I refuse to think about it, because I have a strong faith that we will score against Estonia. We have 90 minutes of the season left and there will be plenty of chances to score. And like Finnish strikers say: ”The most important is, that chances to score come.”
Let's peace, let's love, let's score!
Näkemiin (close translation to a word slán, that Slán uses to sign his reports)