Thirty-two teams of football supporters descended on the University of Central Lancashire’s Sports Arena over the weekend to battle it out at WorldNET 2013 starting on last Friday. Supporter’s teams from all levels of British football are represented – from Manchester United in the Premier League to Runcorn Linnets of the North West Counties.
It was a wide geographical spread from St. Johnstone in Scotland, down to Southampton on the south coast of England; as well as two teams from Lens in France.
WorldNET is a two-day knockout tournament with matches which take place over the entire weekend. On the Friday night before the main competition started, was the annual England v Scotland fans international match and the IFA Challenge Cup final took place.
The teams were drawn into groups to play round-robin matches on the Saturday, with the group winners and best runners-up progressing to the WorldNET Cup on the Sunday, while the remaining teams battle it out for the WorldNET Plate.
Teams were also encouraged to play friendlies against each other in the breaks between both group and knockout games.
WorldNET 2013 Tournament Organiser, Steve Grant says:
“This is the 18th edition of the tournament, which was first held in 1996. We are really pleased to have the involvement of Kick it Out, The Football Supporters Federation (FSF), and The Safe Standing Roadshow, who will be exhibiting their rail seat model, as partners for the event.
“We are also delighted to announce our chosen charity partners for the weekend, The Mark Gorry Foundation and Kit Aid.
“As ever it will be a big day for supporters pulling on their favoured team’s shirt and playing football.
“The IFA league is not just about winning, it’s about building bridges between rival groups of supporters and this tournament is the epitome of that sentiment.”
The tournament is organised by the Internet Football Association (IFA) which was founded in 1996 at the time of the first WorldNET tournament during Euro96. The IFA is made up of football supporters who belong to internet mailing lists, websites and message boards.
Further information about the IFA, its aims and history can be found at the following link – http://www.internetfootball.org.uk/about-the-ifa/
Worldnet 2013 and the IFA are delighted to link up with the Mark Gorry Foundation (The MGF) as the tournaments chosen charity.
The MGF will be raising awareness of testicular cancer as well as running a charity event on site and holding a charity raffle with some superb sporting items donated, including a squad signed Manchester United shirt and tickets for the World Darts Championship at Alexander Palace.
Kit Aid were also there collecting old football shirts and kits, which they then distribute across Africa.
The Wrexham team progressed to the WorldNET Plate on the Sunday, before losing 2-0 to West Ham United in the quarter-finals.
Overall winners were AFC Halifax and Manchester United Supporters Club lifted the Plate.
Give the lads a follow @Wrexhamfansifa.