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Basque Select Side Cancel Iran Friendly

euskadi-bandera.jpgOne of the unique features of Spanish football is the ability of its autonomous regions to be able to set up select sides and be able to play against some of the best teams in the world.

In 2008, one of its most recognized sides will not take the field.  The Basque select  side decided to “indefinitely suspend” its friendly against Iran that was scheduled for the 23rd of December at San Mamés.

According to reports, 165 of the players eligible to play for Euskadi signed a petition that stated that they would refuse to play because of a recent decision made by the Basque Football Federation (FVF).  The federation mentioned that the team will once again be called Euskadi.  It  was first used last year in a match that they played against their counterparts from Catalunya and now the players want to know why there is a change of heart.

The players in the meantime wanted to keep the team name as Euskal Herria.   This name was decided on as a term that best defined the team and where they came from.  This name or title is used to better describe them as an autonomous nation.  EA senator Onintza Lasa requested earlier this week that the FVF to reconsider this action “for the best interest of the Basque players.”

“We know that the Christmas match is a day of national reinvindication and the legitimacy of the national team.  This is why we have to defend more than just the names, but the nation consisting of seven territories.  That is the national team we have to fight for.”
– Sen. Onintza Lasa

The petition and suspension of the game has caused a great deal of controversy outside of Euskadi.   As any other move that has been made by the Basques, it has always been in an effort to separate themselves from Spain.

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