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Opening speech at the UENFW VINOEURO 2024 in Portugal


Welcome ceremony , Cineteatro Messias (Mealhada), UENFW - President Robert Lönarz

Distinguished presidents of national and regional politics,dear hosts,esteemed guests, fellow sports enthusiasts, and wine lovers from all across Europe,


Welcome to Portugal, the land of explorers, where tradition and modernity, history and culture, and a passion for sports and love for wine unite in perfect harmony. Today, we stand at the onset of a very special event, the European Winemakers' Football Championship. It is a great honor to welcome you all as the President of UENFW – the Union of European National Football Teams of Winemakers e.V. – to this unique celebration: the UENFW VINOEURO 2024 in Portugal.


Europe is a continent rich in diversity. Each country brings its own culture, its traditions, and its distinctive wines. Just like a fine wine, sports bring people together, foster community, and promote healthy competition. In times when the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies our wine as merely detrimental to health, we aim to demonstrate that moderate wine consumption and sports are not contradictory.


Here, on the verdant fields of Portugal, we will not only witness exceptional athletic performances this week but also celebrate European unity and friendship.

We are here to celebrate the connection between the spirit of sports and the art of winemaking. Every game played and every drop of wine shared reflects the dedication and passion that winemakers and athletes put into their work. It's about more than just winning or losing; it’s about enjoying the fruits of hard labor and appreciating the cultural diversity that makes Europe so rich and unique.


Let us seize these games as an opportunity to learn from our neighbors, to build bridges, and to strengthen our bonds. May this competition serve as an example of how sports and enjoyment can connect people across borders. With VINOEUDUCA, education is also a key part of our days together in this wonderful region. I extend the warmest greetings from my institution, Geisenheim University, the current headquarters and business office of UENFW. Education and sports bring people together and advance humanity!


In closing, I wish all participants the best of luck. My deepest thanks go to the organizers, particularly our friend Pedro Andrade, my two UENFW Secretaries-General Erica Fischbach and Nelson Rodrigues, who have done incredibly important volunteer work in preparation, the honorary presidents Dr. Franz Josef Jung, Luigi Brunetti, and Zoltan Mayger, who with wisdom and prudence made this framework possible, and to all the players, team managers, coaches, staff and supporters, who have made this gathering of eight European nations with nearly 400 UENFW licensed amateur players possible.

May our games be fair and our wines exquisite. Enjoy the hospitality of Portugal, celebrate the beauty of sports, and the magic of wine.


Thank you, and I wish us an unforgettable championship! Cheers!

Robert Lönarz, President

24th May 2024

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