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Free Association of Austrian Amateur Football Clubs

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The Freie Vereinigung der Amateur-Fußballvereine Österreichs (VAFÖ) (Free Association of Austrian Amateur Football Clubs) was an Austrian football association. It existed from July 1926 to October 1936. It saw itself as the governing body for all Austrian workers' sports clubs. It was made directly from the Austrian Football Association (ÖFV). They had its own selection team. The team represented Austria in international workers' sports tournaments.

History[change | change source]

After the First World War, the workers' sports clubs, workers' cyclists and nature lovers came together in 1919 to form the "Association of Workers' and Soldiers' Sports Clubs" (VAS), which in 1924 was renamed the Workers' Federation for Sports and Physical Culture in Austria (ASKÖ). Only the workers' footballers remained in the non-partisan Austrian Football Association (ÖFV) until 1926. From 1921 onward there were two interest groups within the ÖFV, the social-democratic “Free Association” and the bourgeois “Protection Association”.[1]

There was a split over the question of whether the association should send a team to the first Workers' Olympics. The Free Association left the ÖFV and formed on 7 March 1926 the "Freie Vereinigung der Amateur-Fußballvereine Österreichs" (VAFÖ) . On July 1st the VAFÖ went one step further. It was decided to liquidate the association with the bourgeoisie and joined the ASKÖ. The other teams formed the "Allgemeinen Österreichischen Fußball-Bund" (AÖFB).

The VAFÖ then focused on the promotion of workers' football on an amateur base. They played own championships and cup competitions. They also formed an amateur selection. It represented Austria with great success in international workers' tournaments (Olympic champion 1931, European champion 1933).[2] In 1927 the VAFÖ had 403 clubs with around 10.000 members.

Due to the poor economic situation, many players went to professional clubs in the early 1930s. After the Austrian Civil War in 1934 and the ban of the Social Democratic Party most of the VAFÖ teams were forced to the AÖFB. The football association existed till 1936 but had no influence.

Teams of the VAFÖ-league 1933/34[change | change source]

Champions of the VAFÖ league[change | change source]

Meister der VAFÖ-Liga:

References[change | change source]