The second annual Albufeira Walking Football tournament took place on Monday 20th March at the Campo Palmeiras, adjacent to the Albufeira Municipal stadium. I was one of the referees.
Twelve teams took part in the all day event, across three pitches. Teams included several from the UK, some from the Algarve region (mostly ex-pats) and there was a team from the ‘Silver Coast’area of Portugal up near Peniche.
A good day was had by all. The event was won by a local team, SOS, based in Olhão, who beat Wigan Walkers in the final, which went to a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw.
For those that don’t know, walking football has really taken off within the past couple of years. Superficially, it resembles five a side or seven a side football but there are two very important criteria – (1) you have to be 50 years or over and (2) it is WALKING and not running. For a referee it is very hard to spot running, especially if it is behind you. Sneaky ones, some of them. It is moving quickly towards being a completely non-contact sport, which will make it more appealing to some, less appealing to others.
If you are thinking about coming here, the weather means that most games can be played outdoors on synthetic grass pitches. This website will give you information about walking football around the Algarve. https://www.walkingfootballalgarve.com/
The British equivalent website is http://www.walkingfootballunited.co.uk/
A folder of the pictures I took on the day when not officiating can be seen at https://1drv.ms/f/s!Am0w7qp9HCpqgr06-OyoZ673q3F66Q
PS All links will open in a new window.