The Gothia Cup (Swedish pronunciation: [ɡuːtɪa ¹kɵpː])[tone for "Gothia"?] is an international youth association 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, competing youth teams throughout the world enter the competition. The Gothia Cup is also Sweden's largest annual event.
Spanning one week the Gothia Cup is a youth association football tournament held annually in Gothenburg, Sweden, open for both boys and girls of ages 11 to 18. In terms of participants, it is the world's second largest football tournament with only the Norway Cup being bigger. In 2017, 1730 teams from 82 nations participated.
The Gothia Cup started in 1975 with 275 participating teams. In July each year, the event becomes the dominant event in Gothenburg, with (as of 2017) 4,349 games played on 110 fields, and 300,000 visitors to the center in Heden. According to the tourist authorities of Gothenburg, the 2006 Gothia Cup generated 282 million Swedish krona in tourist income for Gothenburg city and 118 million krona in tax income for Sweden.
Teams compete from across the world; such as from Brazil, United Arab Emirates and the Czech Republic.
Gothia Cup China
The concept of Gothia Cup was exported to China in the 2010s. From 2016, the Gothia Cup had a sister tournament in Shenyang, China, known as the Gothia Cup China. The first Gothia Cup China began between 13–19 August 2016. At the newly-built Gothia Cup Football park the Tournament saw 250 participating teams from 20 nations.
- Júlio Baptista (with Pequeninos do Jockey)
- Zé Roberto (with Pequeninos do Jockey)
- Erwin Sánchez (with AD Tahuichi)
- Alan Shearer (with Wellington Juniors)
- Xabi Alonso (with Antiguoko)
- Egy Maulana Vikri (with ASIOP Apacinti)
- Andrea Pirlo (with US Voluntas)
- Cristian Zaccardo (with FC Spilamberto)
- José Montiel (with FC Asunción)
- Emmanuel Adebayor (with Les Eperviers)
- Zlatan Ibrahimović
- Kim Källström won with BK Häcken 1997 (with Partille IF 1996)
- Tobias Hysén
- Gordon Durie (with Hill of Beath Swifts)
- Angus Balloch (with Manchester United)
- Matilda Andersson won with Jitex 2014
In the 2016 tournament, a team from Morocco 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. The 36-year-old was sentenced to two months in prison and to pay damages to each of the three victims by the District Court. The other assailants could not be identified.
The Under 18 competition in 2013 was won by Kampala Junior Team from Uganda who defeated GAIS 5–2 after penalties with the assistance of over-age players. The triumphant Kampala side fielded KCCA FC goalkeeper Jamal Salim 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. 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.
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