February 7 – English and Austrian fans will be able to warm-up for the 2020 Euros warm-up game on June 1 by watching two of the oldest clubs in the world – they have 287 years of history between them.
The First Vienna Football Club 1894, Austria’s oldest football club, and Sheffield FC, the world’s oldest football club, founded in 1857, will play a friendly at the Hohe Warte Stadium in Vienna prior to the national teams facing off in their Euro 2020 warm-up.
First Vienna recently became a member of the Club of Pioneers, a worldwide network of the oldest football clubs in each country. Having joined this seniors community, the club and Sheffield are now taking their relationship with an announcement to made regarding a club co-operation on February 20. The friendly on June 1 is a first step.
In keeping with their history the press announcement will be made in the Der Pfarrwirt building, where First Vienna Football Club was founded on 22 August1894. Fittingly the event will be in the oldest restaurant in Vienna.
First Vienna were adopted into the Club of Pioneers last year. The network was initiated in 2013 by Sheffield FC. Several football rules were established in Sheffield, including the first corner kick, the first free kick and the crossbar. In 1860 the first football game also took place in Sheffield, and the club now plays in England’s seventh tier.
The motto of the Club of Pioneers is ‘Integrity – Respect – Community’. The network celebrates the amateur values of football and now unites 25 members from all over the world, are FC Genoa, Italy’s oldest football club, St. Gallen, founded in Switzerland in 1879, Royal Antwerp from Belgium as well as amateur clubs such as Berlin FC Germania 1888.
“Vienna is a very special club,” says Sheffield chairman and founder of the Club of Pioneers Richard Tims on a visit to First Vienna last year. “You can live here. You can play soccer here. I’ll be back,” he said.
Perhaps they are going to announce a new technology platform and youth training joint venture. Certainly they will be having a few beers that will go long into the night. These old boys know how to stick around.
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