Euskal Selekzioa Will Play Panama on 29 May In South America
The Basque National Team’s friendly against Venezuela in October was a massive success. Not only did Euskal Selekzioa win 4-2, there was a huge turnout of support at the Mendizorrotza which created a fantastic atmosphere. Two months later the Basque Football Federation voted in favor of applying for international recognition from FIFA and UEFA and now they already have their next game scheduled.
It was recently revealed that the Basque Federation, lead by President Luis María Elustono, had been in contact with several South American Selections about playing a friendly outside of Euskal Herria at the end of the season. Negotiations were at an advanced state with Panama and that game will now take place. Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo has reported that the Basque Federation has already notified clubs that Euskal Selekzioa will be playing a match against Panama in Panama on 29 May. The agreement is in place and the Federation have asked clubs to collaborate on choosing which players should be called up for the friendly.
The EFF have yet to officially announce the game, but that should come soon as long as no changes occur. There is also the issue of coaches that must be decided. Back when Athletic and Real Sociedad were the only two teams in the Primera, Euskadi were led by a coach from both clubs working together. Mikel Etxarria still represents La Real despite leaving the Anoeta a few years ago, but Athletic have always been represented by someone currently working for the club.
José María Amorrortu was the last Euskadi coach to come from Athletic, but he is no longer with the club after Rafa Alkorta became the new Sporting Director. Perhaps Alkorta could take his place for Euskadi, but there are other conversations going on within the Federation to change the coaching situation altogether now that more Basque clubs are represented in La Liga.
Whatever decision is made regarding the coach, the match against Panama will be monumental. This will be the first game played by Euskal Selekzioa since the Federation announced that they will apply for international recognition. Also, considering that it will take place after the club season ends it should allow for a very strong squad to be called up for the trip to Panama. The Basque Federation has been working very hard in preparation for the future and they are optimistic about taking the next steps.