Campaigners call for Basque Country national football team to be given official recognition


San Mamés stadium, Bilbo, Basque Country. (Image: Euskaldunaa CC BY-SA 4.0)

BILBO, Basque Country — The campaign group Gu ere bai! held a day of sporting and cultural events on Saturday calling for the Basque Country national football team—and other sports teams—to be granted official recognition so that they can compete in international competitions.


Currently, the Basque Country has no official status in any sport—with the notable exception of Tug of war.


Several Basque organisations support the campaign for official recognition including the Basque government and the Basque Football Federation who are petitioning FIFA and UEFA to accept the Basque Country as an affiliated member.


In 2018, the Basque Football Federation voted in favour of applying for membership of FIFA and UEFA—and, subsequently, submitted applications to the organisations last December.


Gu ere bai!, who organised the event in the Basque city of Bilbo, is behind the reënergised campaign for official recognition.


The day's programme included numerous sporting and cultural activities including bike rides, handball games, a parade, and a bertsolaritza session— a form of improvised singing unique to the Basque Country.


Palestinian footballer Yaser Hamed attended the event in a show of solidarity for the cause.

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