This summer, Gothia Cup’s fair play project ”Celebrate the Game” takes another step. Together, we will create an even better environment on and around the pitches.
“Gothia Cup is proud that ‘Celebrate the Game’ has become a role model, an inspiration that our participants can bring home to their communities”, says Niclas Freiholtz, Competition General.
Celebrate the Game is a fair play project initiated in 2016 by Gothia Cup. Its intention is to create a better atmosphere for everyone, both on and around the pitches. In Gothia Cup 2016, the message ”This is youth football, this is only a game, the coaches are volunteers, the referees are human” was spread on billboards all around Gothenburg. It turned out to be a well-functioning reminder about how to behave in a football environment. Amongst other things, the number of red cards decreased with 50 per cent in 2016.
“It was incredibly satisfying to see how the message was received by both players, leaders and audience last year. We noticed such a positive result, and it really triggered us for 2017, to make even more to improve the atmosphere on and around the pitches” says Niclas Freiholtz.
This summer, Gothia Cup will put even more strength in ”Celebrate the Game”, by inspiring all players, and those around the players, to behave respectfully and really celebrate the game – because that is what it is all about: a game, played by youths.
Match delegates at the pitches will welcome both players, leaders, referees and spectators, and by dialogue encourage a good atmosphere during the games. Our referees are trained and will be supported during Gothia Cup by referee observers, so that also the referees will have the possibility to development and coaching during the week.
In the end of the week, a Fair Play Trophy will be handed out to a number of teams that have acted exemplary towards both opponents, referees and other tournament staff during the whole tournament. In 2017, Gothia Cup runs the “Celebrate the Game” project in association with insurance company Länsförsäkringar, whose represents will hand out the Fair Play Trophy.
“We see the impact that Gothia Cup can have, and we want to be a role model within fair play. Our vision is that players and leaders bring the ‘Celebrate the Game’ message home, spreading it in their local football environment during practices and matches”, says Niclas Freiholtz.