Football, the universal language whose grammar is unchanging from the North Pole to the Equator. The game that connects people, cherish life and makes memories for life. During the summer, this language is most spoken in three Scandinavian cities. In this period, three of the largest football tournaments for youth are taking place in the city of Oslo (Norway), Hjørring (Denmark) and Göteborg (Sweden).
Norway Cup is the world’s largest football tournament for children and youth. Players are from 10 – 19 years and there are teams from all over the world. Norway Cup started in 1972 with 420 teams and has grown throughout the years. In 2016 Norway Cup reached an all-time high level of teams with 2199 teams participating. The athletic achievements and the joy of sports that the teams show make the tournament a great place to be.
“I’ve participated 5 times as a referee at the Norway Cup. It’s one of the biggest tournaments in the world for the youth and I’m impressed by how the organization could handle this during a whole week. Actually the main argument for why I decide to come back every year it’s the friendship that I’ve created throughout the previous years and that’s more important than the level of the tournament (but I could say that the level increases every year). That’s the place to go if you want to keep a great memory” – Itai Yerly, referee, Switzerland
Dana Cup is also one of the world’s largest football tournaments. This tournament takes place every year in the town of Hjørring in Denmark at the end of July. First held in 1982, the tournament celebrated its 37th anniversary in 2019. The tournament caters to boys and girls teams, organized into age groups ranging from U12 to U19. In the first phase of play, games are played in a round-robin format with groups of 4 or 5 teams. Based on their results in this first phase, teams advance into either the ‘A’ or ‘B’ finals brackets where games are played in a knockout format.
“This is my second year attending Dana Cup in Denmark. Pros for this tournament would be half of the referees returning and the friendships we build getting stronger. Cons would be the internet. It’s really frustrating to not be able to connect to the wi-fi from where we sleep. Wi-fi only works in certain spots . Apart from the internet, I honestly see myself returning every year” – Jawahir Roble, referee, England
Gothia Cup is the world’s largest and most international youth football tournament. Each year, around 1700 teams from 80 nations take part and they play 4500 games on 110 fields. It’s the teams and participants from around the world that make the tournament unique. A meeting place for the world’s youth, irrespective of religion, skin color or nationality, with football as the common denominator. Gothia Cup was first held in 1975. Through the years, almost a million players from a total of 146 countries have participated in the tournament.
“Gothia Cup is one great experience for the referees abroad to meet new people and interact with different cultures. The place and the organization are great and the matches are really fun. I would recommend it to anyone that loves football and want to spread some good vibes between people coming from different countries” – Snezhana Ilievska, referee, Macedonia
Through these cups, the universal language called football is giving opportunity for youth from all over the world to enjoy the game, build friendships without any borders and make memories for life.
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