Donosti Cup - San Sebastián, Spain
The Donosti Cup is Spain’s and one of Europe’s most important youth football tournaments. It takes place every year, in the second week of July, in the idyllic city of San Sebastián, incorporating both boys and girls football, from age 10 up to 19, including numerous teams from the USA, and various professional European sides. The likes of Atletico Madrid and Reading FC have participated in recent editions.
One of Referee Abroad‘s first partners (we’ve been working together for the past 10 years), it will celebrate its 30th edition in 2022.
Finals are played in the splendid stadium of the renowned Spanish outfit Real Sociedad providing referees with fitting finale to this tournament.
Since 2016 the Donosti Cup is a tournament belonging to the network of the “RA Referee Academy“. Referees selected for this innovative “refereeing” development project, and their coaches, will also attend the tournament.
A total of 30 members from “Referee Abroad” will take part to the Donosti Cup. This number includes both referees and their coaches.
Referees will receive free accommodation (based on double occupancy) in a high-level university residence in the city of San Sebastian. They will also be offered free food during the entire event – breakfast in the residence, lunch on the pitches and dinner in the tournament canteen. Rental cars will be available free of charge for referees to drive around the city and to/from the pitches.
Referees will be assigned matches by the Academy representative at the tournament and will be expected to referee 4-5 matches per day, as referee or assistant referee (each match is 25-35 minutes per half).
All Referee Abroad referees and staff members will be accommodated in a university residence not far from the city centre of San Sebastian.
Referees will share twin rooms. The complex, named Manuel Agud, also has many common areas and a meeting room available for “RA Referee Academy” activities 24/7 during the tournament.
San Sebastian, Spain. It’s said that nothing is impossible. This is wrong. It’s impossible to lay eyes on San Sebastián (Basque: Donostia) and not fall madly in love. This stunning city is everything that grimy Bilbao is not: cool, svelte and flirtatious by night, charming and well mannered by day. Best of all is the summer fun on the beach. For it’s setting, form and attitude, Playa de la Concha is the equal of any city beach in Europe. Then there’s Playa de Gros (also known as Playa de la Zurriola), with its surfers and sultry beach goers. As the sun falls on another sweltering summer’s day, you’ll sit back with a drink and an artistic pintxo and realise that, yes, you too are in love with sexy San Sebastián.
San Sebastián has three main centres of action. The lively Parte Vieja (old town) lies across the neck of Monte Urgull, the bay’s eastern headland, and is where the most popular pintxo bars and many of the cheap lodgings are to be found. South of the Parte Vieja is the commercial and shopping district, the Centro Romántico, whose handsome grid of late-19th-century buildings extends from behind Playa de la Concha to the banks of Río Urumea. On the east side of the river is the district of Gros, a pleasant enclave that, with its relaxed ambience and the surfing beach of Playa de Gros, makes a cheerful alternative to the honeypots on the west side of the river.
The closest international airport to San Sebastian is Bilbao Airport (BIO), approximately one hour away and with good bus connections by the local company PESA (€17.00). Bilbao is Northern Spain’s busiest airport and, while still relatively small, is well served by many of Europe’s main airlines, both low-cost and not. The likes of Easyjet, Vueling, Iberia, Air Europa, British Airways, KLM, Air France, Lufthansa and many others connect the airport with their hubs more than once during the day.
San Sebastian is also served by two other airports. The city’s own is San Sebastian Airport (EAS) and is a small airport located approximately 20 km from the city centre, close to the border with France. It is only served by national flights from Madrid and Barcelona operated by Iberia and Vueling.
Another option, especially for those flying from France or the UK, is the French airport of Biarritz (BIQ), 50km away with bus and train connections to San Sebastian. Air France, British Airways and Ryanair serve this small airport.
San Sebastian is also well connected to the rest of Spain by bus and train so, should it be more convenient for you, you could also opt to fly into another of Spain’s main airport and continue your trip by land.
Referees will be offered pick-up from either Bilbao or Biarritz airports, if their arrival time is compatible with the tournament bus’s schedule.
Participating in the Donosti Cup and Pre-Academy was really enjoyable and also great for my development. The opportunity to work with foreign referees and officiate teams from all around the World was what made the experience for me.
Donosti Cup was an exciting experience for me. I learnt a lot of new things about refereeing, met a lot of interesting people, saw a lot of new places, and experienced unforgettable moments in San Sebastian. Looking forward to future tournaments.
The Donosti Cup was an awesome event, where you gained lots of impressions and experience, but also made new friends. I highly recommend it to every young and interested referee, who wants to raise his hobby to a whole new level.