The Italian Football Championship was first held in 1898. Four teams played three matches, all on SUN 08 MAY 1898. Genoa won the title and became the first league champions of Italy.
Since then, the championship has expanded greatly. An increasingly complex series of regional groups gave way in 1929 to the modern multi-division format. In all, 260 clubs take part in the top four divisions. Serie A and B are nationwide, and Serie C and D are divided into regional groups. Below these are found lower leagues such as the Eccellenza and Promozione, each divided into a number of regional groups.
So what happened to those four original clubs that founded the Italian Championship? Which ones are still there, which ones have been relegated, and which ones no longer exist? Let us now find out as we ask: Whatever happened to the founding members of the Italian Football Championship?
Genoa Cricket and Football Club were founded by English expatriates in 1893. They were inaugural Italian champions, defeating Internazionale Torino in the final 2-1 in extra time. They have won the title eight more times since, but their last came in the 1923-4 season. Genoa were relegated for the first time after the 1933-4 season and have fallen as far as the third tier, on two occasions for a single season at a time. Their most recent season in the third tier was 2005-6, but they immediately won promotion to Serie B, and were promoted back to Serie A the year after that. Il Grifone have remained in Serie A since, making this their 80th total season in the top flight. The club’s cricket division, abandoned early in their history, was resurrected eleven years ago.
Internazionale Torino were formed by a merger of two Turin clubs in 1891. They reached the final of the first two Italian Championships, losing to Genoa both times. The club merged with FBC Torinese the following season.
Foot-Ball Club Torinese were founded in 1894 and lost to Internazionale Torino in the semifinals of the inaugural Italian Championship. They reached the 1900 final, losing to Genoa 3-1 in extra time. In 1906, with recently founded Juventus threatening to move out of Turin, a number of Torinese players left to found a new club, known today as Torino FC. Shortly thereafter, Torinese ceased operations.
Ginnastica di Torino were founded as a sports club in 1844, introducing a football team in 1897. They lost to Genoa in the semifinals of the inaugural Italian Championship. The football team was dissolved in 1902, but the club continued to participate in various other sports. Today, Ginnastica remain active in gymnastics, martial arts, and basketball.
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