Gothia Cup

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Gothia Cup
Gothia Cup logo
Founded 1975
Television broadcasters Viasat

The Gothia Cup is an international youth football tournament organized by professional football club BK Häcken, which has been held annually since 1975 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Considered the biggest tournament in the world in terms of participating teams, [1] competing youth teams throughout the world enter the competition.


The opening ceremony and finals are held at Ullevi, Gothenburg.

Fireworks at the opening ceremony.

Spanning one week Gothia Cup is a youth football tournament held annually in Gothenburg, Sweden, open for both boys and girls of ages 11 to 19 years. With regards to the number of participants, it is the world's largest football tournament: in 2011, a total of 35,200 players from 1567 teams and 72 nations participated. In 2016, 1761 teams from 80 nations participated. Gothia Cup started in 1975 with 275 participating teams. In July each year, the event becomes the dominant event in Gothenburg, with (as of 2006) 4,320 games played on 91 fields, and 300,000 visitors to the center on Heden. According to the tourist authorities of Gothenburg, the 2006 Gothia Cup generated 282 million Swedish kronor in tourist income for Gothenburg city and 118 million kronor in tax income for Sweden.

Teams from many countries participate. These include Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Austria, Norway, Finland, the United States, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Iceland, France, Bolivia, Denmark, Canada, Australia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Mongolia, Kenya, India, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, England, China, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Morocco, Sudan, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, Lebanon, Liberia, Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldavia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Spain, Greece, Syria, Malta, Montenegro, Croatia, Turkey, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Slovakia, Serbia, Singapore, Taiwan, the district of Hong Kong, Albania, Belarus, Bermuda, Israel, Malawi, Botswana, Bahrain, and Pakistan, etc.

Gothia Cup China[edit]

The concept of Gothia Cup is exporting to China. From 2016 Gothia Cup has a sister tournament in Shenyang, China, the Gothia Cup China. A new international tournament based on the same concept as the Gothia Cup: To create a meeting place for the world's youth. Gothia Cup China will offer the Gothia Cup’s well-known quality and organization along with Chinese tradition and culture. The first Gothia Cup China starts from the 13th to 19th of August, 2016. At the newly-built Gothia Cup Football park the Tournament has 250 participating teams from 20 nations. Gothia Cup Football Park is a large park stretching 3.3 kilometers from side to side along Hun River, with 40 playing fields now to be enlarged to 100 fields in 2017.

Sexual harassment[edit]

In 2014, the tournament disco was cancelled after reports of sexual harassment. The cup leadership stated the disco was cancelled due to the venue, Svenska Mässan, not being available under the Gothia Cup week.[2] A festival for two nights at Scandinavium, an indoor arena, is replacing the 30 year old tradition of Gothia Disco night.[2]

In the 2016 tournament, a team from Morocco[3][4] was rejected from the Cup after its team members including its 36-year-old manager and about 30 boys from other teams sexually harassed three 16-year-old girls as crowds were exiting after the opening ceremony.[4] The 36-year-old was sentenced to two months in prison and to pay damages to each of the three victims by the Gothenburg District Court.[5] The other assailants could not be identified.[3]

Age cheating[edit]

The Under 18 competition in 2013 was won by Kampala Junior Team[6][7] from Uganda who defeated GAIS 5–2 after penalties[8] with the assistance of over-age players. The triumphant Kampala side fielded KCCA FC goalkeeper Jamal Salim[9][10] and midfielder Gaddafi Kiwanuka albeit without knowledge of their Lugogo employers. Salim, a Ugandan international player, changed his name to Omar Magoola and made an immense contribution in the finals by saving two penalties.[11][12] Besides Salim and Kiwanuka, Ssali Edris Tamale, a third year student at Nkumba University, also featured for the side. He is reported to have changed his identity by changing his name from 'Tamale' to 'Yamale' in the new passport he acquired. Another age cheat in this squad is identified as Eriasa Sserwadda, a graduate from Nkumba University.[11]

Famous participants[edit]

This list includes notable players who played in Gothia Cup in their youth and later had been playing for their national teams.[13][14][15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World's largest youth soccer cup gets underway in Gothenburg". SR International – Radio Sweden. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Festival ersätter Gothias disco". Sveriges Radio. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Hemidach, Amjad (25 July 2016). "Moroccan Youth Football Team Disqualified for Sexually Assaulting Swedish Girls". Morocco World News. Retrieved 6 August 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Löfgren, Emma (21 July 2016). "Adult boss 'groped girls' at Swedish kids' football cup". the local. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  5. ^ Ekstedt Larsson, Sanna; Nordén, Sofia (4 August 2016). "Fängelse för Gothia-cup ledaren". Nyheter - Väst. Sveriges Television. Retrieved 6 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Kampala Junior Team". Beyond Sport World. Retrieved 2014-02-17. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Gothia Cup 2013". Kampala Junior Team. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  8. ^ "Gothia Cup - Finals". Gothia Cup. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  9. ^ "Kampala Junior Team On Verge Of Gothia Cup Glory". Chimpreport. 2013-07-19. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  10. ^ "Kampala side wins Gothia Cup". Daily Monitor. 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  11. ^ a b "Age Cheats: KJT use over-age players in Gothia and Tivoli Cups". Kawowo Sports. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  12. ^ "Age Cheats: Jamal Salim, Kiwanuka feature for KJT U-18 in Go". News Kenya. 2013-07-31. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  13. ^ "Visste du att… - Gothia Cup". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  14. ^ "All Star Team - Gothia Cup". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  15. ^ Erik (2012-07-16). "Gothia Cup har växt ur sin kostym | GT". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 

External links[edit]