SPORTS TOURISM in the region received a major boost when more than 2,000 visitors made the City of Salt their home base for the youth football tournament, The Torrevieja Cup.
The Tournament has evolved into the city’s premier sporting youth tournament and helping to place Torrevieja on Spain’s sporting map as one of the places to hold other tournaments in different sporting disciplines.
Now in its second year, the event continues to become better and better and last week’s event was certainly looked upon as a fantastic success, both in terms of the number of teams participating and the support given by travelling families and friends.
More than 1,800 youth footballers, from age 8 through 18 played day and night, attracting scouts from major teams around the country, who had the opportunity to see a showcase of some of today’s youth, some of whom will be tomorrow’s professionals.
The tournament began the weekend before with an indoor football tournament and for the first time, youth handball.
All of the teams attended a presentation ceremony on Thursday afternoon, starting in front of the Town Hall and parading on mass to the Vista Alegre, where all squad members had their photos taken and received plaques.
The Tournament started under floodlights on Thursday night and concluded Sunday afternoon with teams from Torrevieja, Elche, Madrid, Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Cataluna and the Canary Islands, all taking part.
Winners of the Semana Santa event for 2012 were, Juveniles: Champions Vallecas C.F. (Madrid) runners up C.D. San Fernando, Cadetes: Champions C.D. Alberca (Murcia) runners up Aguilas de Moratalaz, Infantil: Champions Escuela Morala (Extremadura) runners up Aguilas Moratalaz, Alevin: Champions Futbol Base Moraira – Teulada (Alicante) runners up C.D. San Fernando and in the youngest category, Benjamin: Champions Rivamar C.F. (Madrid) runners up Torrevieja C.F. A.
Awards were given to the best players in each category and for the first time the honour of “Best Club at Easter’s Torrevieja Cup 2012” for their exemplary behaviour, the high level of play and their support, was given to E.F.M. Águilas de Moratalaz
On the downside, the standard of refereeing for the seven-a-side games came under a lot of criticism from players, managers and parents.
This was more to do with the referees just not applying the laws of the game, such as allowing throw-ins with both feet off the ground, players encroaching at penalty kicks, players crossing the half way line into the opposition half off the field before the kick-off and with referees being economical in their movement around the field of play, which to be fair, since they were officiating five or more games a day, was not too surprising!
They only need to tighten up applying the laws of game as they are written to avoid any further flack this summer.
The other downside of the Tournament is in its popularity.
With 84 teams this year, with only a break during lunchtime, the pitches were fully occupied from 9.00 am until after 11.00 pm, and that is with playing games lasting 10-minutes less, than they would normally play for!
However, better to have the problem of being oversubscribed, than not having teams wishing to play in the tournament!
There is also a summer edition of the Torrevieja Cup, which takes place at the end of June and into July 2012.
The summer edition is a few days longer than at Easter and organisers are hopeful that more International teams, especially from Europe and the UK, will be interested in taking part.
This year’s event encompassed international youth football, futsal (indoor football) and for the first time, a handball tournament, over the Easter period.
The football tournament is open to all FIFA affiliated teams in the field.
By Keith Nicol