”We are here to celebrate the game”
The day has been filled with games from early morning and after tonight’s grand opening ceremony at a buzzing Ullevi stadium this year’s Gothia Cup is officially open.
The opening ceremony is one of many highlights during the week. The Gothia Cup spirit of joy and solidarity is maybe best symbolized this night when everyone is gathered to open another Gothia Cup – the 45th altogether.
”This is the night when we gather the youth of the world in one arena. They are united by football and I hope the opening ceremony has given them an experience they will never forget. Every year it’s touching to see the joy in the eyes of everyone who is here”, says Dennis Andersson, General Secretary of Gothia Cup.
Song and dance from all over the world showed the diversity of Gothia Cup and the opening ceremony was a night when solidarity was in abundance. The theme of this year’s show was the four elements and different sections of Ullevi symbolized air, earth, fire and water.
The show in all its glory but it was all the nations and cultures that was the main attraction and together with musicians and 500 dancers some unforgettable memories were surely created for everyone who was there. Gothia Cup’s campaign – ‘Celebrate the Game’ – together with partner Länsförsäkringar was also a part of the ceremony. Focus this year is on the parents and the campaign movie ”Let us play” that was released a week ago was shown on the big screen, kicking off the entire show. The title and hashtag #letusplay is about letting the youth take responsibility on the pitch without being interfered by parents “who know best”.
Ullevi was electric during the ceremony, for instance when the entire stadium chanted ”We are here to celebrate the game” in unison. But there were also more quiet moments. When six participants entered the main stage, accompanied by Vangelis Conquest of paradise, and read the Gothia Cup oath in the tournament’s six major languages the whole stadium was silent. Shortly thereafter the standing audience chanted as the tournament was declared opened.
Dennis Andersson hopes that all of Gothia Cup’s participants will experience more than just football during the coming week.
”So much happens when different people come together and Gothia Cup is proud to be the world’s biggest meeting place for children and adolescents. This week is so much more than football, our participants will also make friendships that will last for a lifetime. I encourage them to take this chance and learn from each other’s cultures, said Dennis Andersson, General Secretary of Gothia Cup.
This post is also available in: Svenska