Cardiff Dragons FC recently held Wales’ first European LGBT football tournament, the Unity Cup, which was a massive success and featured teams from Wales, England, Scotland, Russia and France.
Cardiff Dragons FC recently held Wales’ first European LGBT football tournament, the Unity Cup, which was a massive success and featured teams from Wales, England, Scotland, Russia and France. The Dragons are Wales’ first and only LGBT football club and decided to run the event to celebrate diversity in football and the fact that Cardiff is the European Capital of Sport for 2014.
18 teams including the Dragons descended on Pontcanna fields on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th June for two full days of football featuring competitions in Men’s 11a-side, Men’s 6-a-side and Women’s 6-a-side. The Women’s competition proved to be popular with 8 teams competing for the cup which included Chesterfield Ladies FC, Royal Navy Women’s FC, FC Alternativa from Russia, Amazing Gracies FC from Scotland, two French teams from FC Paris Arc en Ciel, Port Talbot Town Ladies FC and Cardiff Dragons FC. The finalists were Welsh Women’s Premier League team, Port Talbot Town Ladies and the Royal Navy. In a closely fought game Port Talbot became champions with a 2-1 victory. At the other end of the table, the Amazing Gracies pushed the Dragons to a penalty shoot out to decide on 7th / 8th place which resulted in the Dragons becoming the happy winners of the wooden love spoon.
The Men’s 11-a-side competition, sponsored by Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust also featured penalties, as the final between Cardiff City Deaf FC and Village Manchester FC ended in a 1-1 draw. Village Manchester were eventual Unity Cup winners, a great result for them after recently finishing as runners up in the GFSN Cup Final held at St Georges Park. The three other teams in the men’s competition included Cardiff Dragons FC, London Titans FC and London Phoenix FC.
In the Men’s 6-a-side competition, sponsored by Mitie, the Dragons fielded two teams and were up against FC Paris Lutece from France, Trowbridge Tigers FC and Canton Delights FC. After a round robin competition and some closely fought semi finals, Canton faced FC Paris Lutece in the final which ended in a narrow 1-0 victory in the dying seconds of the game for Canton.
Fairplay Award winners, as voted by the referees included Cardiff City Deaf FC in the Men’s 11-a-side competition, Cardiff Dragons FC Blue in the Men’s 6-a-side competition and FC Paris Arc en Ciel A team in the Women’s 6-a-side competition. All teams were really grateful of the Sports Massage service, which was kindly provided by Cardiff University Physiotherapy students. The UEFA Super Cup trophy also paid the tournament a visit, thanks to the Football Association of Wales, which gave the teams the opportunity to have their photograph taken with the amazing silverware. Sport Cardiff were instrumental in making the event happen and their staff were on hand all weekend with an inflatable shooting game which teams and spectators took advantage of.
The event brought teams and individuals together from all walks of life in one huge football celebration of diversity. For more information about the event or about Cardiff Dragons FC, visit the following webpages: www.ecs2014cardiff.com / www.cardiffdragonsfc.co.uk