Italy Will Host Switzerland in International Exhibition

In a game they will apparently turn into an annual event, ostensibly dubbed the “New Year’s Bowl”, Team Switzerland will face the Italian national team, the” Blue Team”, on January 9 in Pero, Italy, located on the outskirts of Milan.

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Italian head coach Davide Giuliano

Italian coach, Davide Giuliano, says the hope is to make this an annual bowl game. The two countries are neighbors and each program has committed to the long-term improvement of the team.

Italy defeated Switzerland in last year’s contest, also in Pero, 30-19. At this point it is difficult to play an outdoor game in Switzerland due to the poor field conditions and there are no indoor facilities that would accommodate an American football game.

Giuliano took over as head coach of Italy’s national team last year and in addition to defeating the Swiss, watched his team suffer a narrow 34-31 defeat to Serbia earlier this fall.

He likes the rivalry that Sweden and Finland have built up by playing each other in an annual series and wants to see the same tradition between Italy and Switzerland:

“I truly hope that this can become a long-standing tradition and rivalry.”

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Team Switzerland head coach Chris Winter

Team Italy has already held two training camps since September and will have one more before the game in January.

Team Switzerland head coach Chris Winter, whose team qualified for the IFAF Europe Group B tournament by beating Slovakia 21-0, is enthusiastic about the game:

“This is great news for the Swiss national team. We know now that we will have a yearly game and it is close by. This will be our fourth game in 12 months and it gives us a good tuneup for our Group B game against Serbia in late summer next year.”

Photo credit: Stefano Schwetz

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.