Hugely successful first meeting of Italian speaking Barça penyes
NEWS 17 Oct 2019 - Supporters' Clubs World Confederation
Assemblies, charity, leisure and cuisine are the objectives of the sessions
In such a football-mass country as Italy, the number of Barça supporters' clubs and members thereof has been on the rise in recent years, and the relations between the different clubs in Italy or Italian-speaking regions are also improving. Indeed, the progress has been described as a shift from a total lack of interaction to what is described as “constant and complete” relations, which is having a positive knock-on effect on penyes in general. Consequently, and in order to gather forces and make joint decisions, the First Meeting of Penyes Barcelonistes Italianòfones has been held, a project that they plan to repeat in the future.
The clubs that attended this landmark event were there Penya Lombarda FC Barcelona, the Penya Barcelonista de Turin, the FC Barcelona Penya Ticinio, the Penya Barcelonista de Genova (Genoa), the Penya Blaugrana di Roma and the Penya Blaugrana di Napoli (Naples). Focusing on assemblies, charity, leisure and cuisine present, the meeting was all about generating bonds, fostering the FC Barcelona values in the region and, evidently, boosting friendship, brotherhood and exchange between 'penyes' members. The oldest Italian club of all, the Penya Lombarda FC Barcelona, was chosen as the inaugural host, and such a historic moment was also honoured by the presence of the president of the Supporters' Clubs World Confederation, Antoni Guil, the president of the World Federation, Antonio Freire, the Generalitat de Catalunya delegate to Italy, Luca Belizzi, and others.
The organisers stated that “we are convinced that this initiative will be a success, because we have worked with conviction and passion to make it like that and for it to continue being like that on future occasions”. The decision-making congress on the first day decided to set up a website in Italian which will be used as a launch-pad for Radio Barça Itàlia, which will not belong to any single supporters' club but rather to all the clubs in the zone. The other events at the meeting were about charity, sport and culture: the first “I Trofeo Carmine Infante” futsal tournament, the “120 years of FC Barcelona history – 1899” exhibition, a debate among both Italian and Catalan Barça collectors, a charity auction, and lots more.
This first meeting can be viewed as a major boost for Barça support in Italy, encouraging collaboration and the exchange of opinions between supporters and improving, modernising and structuring the movement.