Basque Country national football team

Shirt badge/Association crest
The Basque Country representative football team (officially, in Basque, 'Euskal selekzioa') represents the Basque Country in football. It selects players from the Basque Country autonomous community, Navarre and the French Basque Country and is organised by the Basque Football Federation. It is not affiliated with FIFA or UEFA and therefore only allowed to play friendly matches against FIFA or non-FIFA affiliated teams.

The team has been referred to by various names including Euskadiko selekzioa, Euskal Herriko futbol selekzioa, Selección de Euskadi, Vasconia, Equipo Vasco, Euskadi XI and Basque XI. Most of their home matches have been played in the San Mamés Stadium which was replaced in 2013 by the new San Mamés.

The Basque Country has had a football team of its own since 1930. During the Second Spanish Republic, they played firstly under the name of 'Baskoniako selekzioa' (the Vasconia team) and then from 1936 as 'Euzkadiko selekzioa' (the Euskadi team). During Franco's 36-year dictatorship it only played two games. Then, after Franco's death in 1975, the team was reformed using the name 'Euskadiko selekzioa' and began playing regular friendly matches, usually during La Liga's Christmas break. Up to the present moment they have played 56 matches against a wide range of nations such as Russia, Uruguay, Nigeria and Denmark.

In 2007, the team's name was controversially changed to 'Euskal Herriko futbol selekzioa'. In 2008, a compromise was reached and it was changed again to 'Euskal selekzioa'. In the lower grades, the team is either called "Euskadiko selekzioa" or "Seleccíon del País Vasco" and exclusively represents the Basque Country autonomous community (Euskadi).

On September 29, 1913 the Royal Spanish Football Federation was formally created and along with it four regional federations (Norte, Oeste, Este and Centro). Each regional federation organised its own league, and also selected a team to play against other regions. The Basque Country was grouped with Cantabria in 'Norte' (North). As most of the biggest teams in the Norte federation were Basque, such as Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Real Unión, and Arenas Club de Getxo, so the team fielded by the federation was occasionally entirely composed of Basque players, and was called 'Vasconia', 'el equipo Vasco'(the Basque team), or sometimes just 'Norte'. On January 3, 1915 they played their first match which was against Catalonia in Bilbao and won 6–1, and then on February 7 they played them again but in Barcelona, this time drawing 2–2. On May 13, 1915 they won the inaugural 'Copa del Príncipe de Asturias' tournament in Madrid by beating Catalonia 1–0. In the same competition they drew 1–1 with Centro (a team formed by players from the centre of Spain). In May 1916, 'Norte' faced Catalonia twice in Barcelona, winning by 1–3 on the 21st, and drawing 0–0 on the 22nd. On June 4 of the same year they beat Catalonia 5–0 in Bilbao.

On November 22, 1916 the Cantabrian teams left the Northern Federation, joining the newly formed Cantabrian Federation (Federación Cantábrica de Clubes de Football), which encompassed Asturian and Cantabrian clubs. In 1918 Gipuzkoa formed its own federation leaving Biscay on their own in Federation Norte. Gipuzkoa and Biscay organised their own separate teams. In 1919 the Asturians decided to form their own federation (Federación Regional Asturiana de Clubes de Fútbol) so the Cantabrian teams rejoined 'Norte', but now it only had teams from Cantabria and Biscay. This complicated situation of federations splitting off continued for a few more years. In 1922 separate teams were created for Biscay and Cantabria because the former decided to form their own federation (Biscayan Federation).

This page was last edited on 21 June 2018, at 13:11 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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