Monday 17 February 2014

Ellan Vannin announce Monaco friendly

The newly formed Manx Independent Football Alliance, representing the Isle of Man, have confirmed their first friendly at home to Monaco on April 6th.

Crest..the MIFA logo
The game will be played at The Bowl in the island's capital Douglas and after initial problems with the Isle of Man FA MIFA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding which set out a working relationship between the 2 organisations.

The MIFA team, Ellan Vannin, was formed last year by Malcolm Blackburn after his club side St John's United hosted the Tynwald Hill International Tournament which included 5 non-FIFA teams. 

Blackburn saw the Isle of Man FA side as not truly representative of Manx people and as a result criteria for MIFA selection require being born on the island or having a parent or grandparent who was.

Ellan Vannin will compete in the inaugural ConIFA World Football Championship and Blackburn, who is vice-president of the new organisation, sees Monaco as perfect preparation "we believe they're not far off our standard but at the same time we're hopeful of a victory. It's a historic occasion for the island".

Youngster..Blackpool's Richardson
For the World Football Championship overseas players will likely be called upon but for the Monaco game the Ellan Vannin time will be almost all island-based. 

However Rowan Richardson, a junior player at English Championship side Blackpool, and former Republic of Ireland under-16 captain Seamus Starkey could also feature.

Monegasque Football Federation secretary Laurent Revollon told us "we are so excited to travel to the Isle of Man". Monaco will fly from Nice to Liverpool and stay overnight on Merseyside before heading over by boat to Douglas.  

Monaco last played in June, defeating the Vatican City 2-0, and before that their last game was a 2-1 loss at home to Raetia. The principality have plans for summer matches against Sealand and the Vatican.

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