SPANISH SOCCER FANS at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville were last night treated to the unique sight of a Gaelic football match at half-time of a La Liga game.
Sevilla won their clash with Granada 3-0 in a game that saw Spain Euro 2012 winners Jesús Navas and Álvaro Negredo in action for them.
And it was another local sports team, the city’s Gaelic football side Éire Óg Sevilla, that partook in an exhibition match at half-time.
The event was part of a marketing plan undertaken by Sevilla FC to attract foreigners as new members of the club.
Throughout this season the club have dedicated each home game to a different country and last night’s promotion involved Ireland.
The Éire Óg players were involved in a seven-a-side game during a six-minute slot in the interval.
Tickets for last night’s game were just €5 for Irish passport holders, while the Irish flag was flown over the stadium, goalscorers were announced as Gaeilge and trad band Rare Folk entertained fans before the game.
Action from last night’s exhibition game. Pic: INPHO/Jesus Spinola
“The Spanish may have their bulls and flamenco, but we brought them culture in Gaelic football tonight,” remarked club co-founder and chairman Kevin Lenane.
The team, founded in 2010, is made up of expats and native Spaniards based in the city and is one of 14 Gaelic football teams now in action in the country.
And one of the Éire Óg Sevilla players, Clonmel native Tommy Barry, made a round trip of over 1,000km to line out in the game on the Andalucian coast.
Barry was originally involved with the club when he lived in Seville but has been based in Madrid since last May. He travelled down to Seville by train last night before the game before returning on an overnight bus to be back in the Spanish capital in time for work this morning.