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, competing youth teams throughout the world enter the competition. The Gothia Cup is also Sweden’s largest annual event.
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 18 years. With regards to the number of participants, it is the world's second largest football tourmenent after Norway Cup: in 2011, a total of 35,200 players from 1567 teams and 72 nations participated. In 2017, 1730 teams from 82 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 2017) 4,349 games played on 110 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
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.
Clubs with five or more victories
- 1 IF Brommapojkarna (SWE) 28
- 2 AIK FF (SWE) 13
- 3 Tahuichi (BOL)10
- 4 GAIS (SWE) 10
- 5 Hammarby IF (SWE) 10
- 6 Pequeninos de Jockey (BRA) 9
- 7 AD Cantolao (PER) 7
- 8 Västra Frölunda IF (SWE) 6
- 9 IF Elfsborg (SWE) 6
- 10 Hutchison Vale (SCO) 6
- 11 Kampala Kids League (UGA) 6
- 12 US Voluntas (ITA) 6
- 13 Främmestad (SWE) 5
- 14 CD San Gabriel (ESP) 5
- 15 Dallas Texans (USA) 5
- 16 AC Boulogne Billancourt (FRA) 4
Nations with 10 or more victories
- 1 Sweden 216
- 2 USA 31
- 3 Germany 24
- 4 Taiwan 19
- 5 Scotland 18
- 6 Brazil14
- 7 Mexico 13
- 8 France 13
- 9 Finland 11
- 10 Italy 11
- 11 Bolivia 10
- 12 England 10
- 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)
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 Gothenburg 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.
- Norway Cup – A portion of the teams participating in Gothia Cup also take part in Norway Cup.
- List of sporting events in Sweden
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