Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

EFPA: Former players to bless Liverpool in two-day Congress

Posted in European Football, International Football, UK Football by peterbein on April 15, 2010
Sir Bobby Charlton

Sir Bobby Charlton will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the EFPA gala dinner

The European Former Players Association (EFPA) will hold their annual congress in the city of Liverpool from Thursday, April 15th which will feature a gala dinner on Thursday and a six-a-side legends tournament to be played at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Friday.

Normally the EFPA holds its annual congress in the organisation’s birthplace of Barcelona but have decided to take this year’s show on the road to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Everton FC Former Players Foundation. The EFPA Congress is designed in order to define the roles which former footballers can play after their sporting retirement and also celebrates the work of similar organisations based across the continent. The Congress will also help to raise awareness of the new British Alliance of Former Players Associations (BAFPA), an umbrella organization hoping to co-ordinate the work of such groups across the United Kingdom.

Thursday sees a conference take place at Liverpool’s Hilton Hotel in which Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton will be the keynote speaker. In a gala dinner later that day Sir Bob will be awarded with a lifetime achievement award in a ceremony in which his former international team-mate Sir Geoff Hurst will be the main guest Speaker. EFPA President Ramon Alfonseda pays the ultimate tribute to England’s record international goalscorer saying “if anyone symbolised the values of EFPA, it can be summed up in the two words known by every football fan in the world – Bobby Charlton.”

Friday night will see the first ever EFPA Champions Cup, a six-a-side tournament which will bring together some of the great players from England, Scotland, a combined Ireland/Wales team and a European legends team. There will be many former players of local clubs Liverpool FC and Everton FC involved, including Ian Rush (as a player/manager for Wales/Ireland), Robbie Fowler, Peter Reid and Dave Watson. Some of the legendary European names showing off their skills will include the likes of the “Maradona of the Carpathians” Gheorghe Hagi, Danish legend Michael Laudrup and 2005 UEFA Champions League winner Vladimir Šmicer, all of whom doing what the EFPA’s slogan proudly proclaims: “Still Playing!”  The four teams will be coached by some top names including Terry Venables (England), Ally McCoist (Scotland) and Italian 1982 FIFA World Cup winner Antonio Cabrini (Europe) so it is clear that each team will contain the same will to win as all of the players involved showed during their illustrious playing careers. The four teams will meet each other once only in the group stage with the top two teams after three matches played going through to the EFPA Champions Cup final.

If you can make it to the Liverpool Echo Arena on Friday, April 16th to watch the EFPA Champions Cup tournament the doors open at 17:00 with tickets still available costing £20 for adults and £10 children and concessions although the Liverpool Echo newspaper has announced that if you buy a ticket on the night then you can get 25% off if you show your copy of that day’s Echo.