Another Gothia Cup week has passed and 35,000 players and officials are now part of the Gothia Cup family. A family of nearly 1 million people who share a common experience. This year we have experienced a lot.
78 nations participated in this year’s Gothia Cup and the fact that the world gather here this week was very clear when we met at the Liseberg Amusement Park to break record by having most nations in a ride. It was a great atmosphere and there was great joy when the big Ferris wheel spun and inspectors from the Guinness Book of Records could establish a new record.
We also broke a record in number of visitors at the opening ceremony, 46 661 people were there and we got for the first time to have the audience on the inner field. It gave a wonderful display of colour and participation at the ceremony. The most applauded was clearly 12-year-old Rebecka, from Eskilsminne IF who sang a tribute song to all the leaders of the effort they make to give their players the opportunity to play football and be able to go on a tournament like Gothia Cup. The ceremony ended in an atmospheric sea of flags and fireworks from the roof of Ullevi.
Never before have so many loved ones around the world been able to follow their team’s performance in the tournament as good as this year. In total, there were over 1.4 million unique visitors who followed the tournament on our results pages. A staggering number and we can truly say that our new app, and live reporting has been a success.
Several of the finals were very even and were decided on penalties. It’s a tough end in many ways. But with a little perspective, I think one can still be pleased with one’s own and the team’s effort. We have chosen 14 new Youth World Champion in football and who knows how many of tomorrow’s football stars.
There are many fine young people in the Gothia Cup. If you walk around and look at the games you see players who show respect for each other and their opponents. Football is a physical game in which it can sometimes be tough, but most of all fair play is visible. They greet each other before the match, a pat on the back after a tough tackle, learning from each other during the game and we thank each other nicely after the game. Everyone wants to win but we want to do it in a fair manner. Caring for this and being proud of it.
Our new family return to their home countries and we must keep in touch from afar. Maybe we will go and visit some of these to make waiting shorter for the next tournament. Now we turn off one of the best Gothia Cup tournaments we have had. See you all next summer.