Regulation - Gothia Cup

Official Regulations

  • § 1. Rules

    The Gothia Cup will be played in accordance with applicable sections of the FIFA rules and the Swedish F.A. rules.

    When subject to interpretation of FIFA rules or regulations, the English text applies.

  • § 2. Competition rules

    2.1 Participating teams must belong to a club or academy that is a registered with its national FIFA affiliated association. School teams from countries where school teams can participate in the official football competitions of the national football association and are registered with the national school association are also allowed to participate. All players must be registered with the club they are playing for. Please note that players cannot belong to a club from a country where the player is not residing.

    2.2 The teams are divided into groups of four or five where all the teams will meet in a round robin serie. The order among the teams will be decided according to points. 3 points will be awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss.

    If two or more teams have the same number of points, the order will be decided as follows:

    1. Goal difference
    2. Highest number of goals scored
    3. Results in the match(es) between teams with equal points (head to head)
    4. Penalty shoot-out according to the FIFA rules

    2.3 Play off

    The two best teams in each group will advance to playoff A. The other teams in the group will advance to playoff B. All playoff games will be decided by the cup system, i.e. by direct elimination. A draw in the playoff will be decided by penalty kicks according to the FIFA rules.

    2.4 Girls and boys 11 and 12

    The age categories girls and boys 11 and 12 will be played in accordance with the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) rules for the age group, i.e. there are no tables or playoff. Instead of the playoffs the teams will be rearranged into a second group stage. The result of the change is that all teams will be guaranteed to play six games, compared to the earlier average of 4,5 games. Since no teams are knocked out, all teams will play throughout the tournament (Monday - Friday). The new groups will be formed in order to create so equal, developing and funny games as possible.

    Teams in the age categories girls and boys 11 and 12 do not need to do the age control. Teams in these age categories only need to submit the list of players. The list of players can be submitted at the same locations where the age control is held.

  • § 3. Age categories 2021

    B18 - Boys born 1/1-03 or later (11-a-side)
    B17 - Boys born 1/1-04 or later (11-a-side)
    B16 - Boys born 1/1-05 or later (11-a-side)
    B15 - Boys born 1/1-06 or later (11-a-side)
    B14 - Boys born 1/1-07 or later (11-a-side)
    B14B - Boys born 1/1-07 or later (9-a-side)*
    B13 - Boys born 1/1-08 or later (9-a-side)
    B12 - Boys born 1/1-09 or later (7-a-side)**
    B11 - Boys born 1/1-10 or later (7-a-side)**

    G18 - Girls born 1/1-03 or later (11-a-side)
    G17 - Girls born 1/1-04 or later (11-a-side)
    G16 - Girls born 1/1-05 or later (11-a-side)
    G15 - Girls born 1/1-06 or later (11-a-side)
    G14 - Girls born 1/1-07 or later (11-a-side)
    G14B - Girls born 1/1-07 or later (9-a-side)*
    G13 - Girls born 1/1-08 or later (9-a-side)
    G12 - Girls born 1/1-09 or later (7-a-side)**
    G11 - Girls born 1/1-10 or later (7-a-side)**

    * The age category plays 9-a-side. We reserve the right to cancel this category no later than April 1st if less than 20 teams are registered.

    ** In girls and boys 11 and 12 no results are published and there is no play off. Instead there will be a second group stage. Please read more under competition rules.

  • § 4. Playing period

    ClassGroup Stage and Play-off BPlay-0ff A
    B18, B17, B16, B152×25 min2×30 min
    G18, G17, G16, G152×25 min2×30 min
    Others2×20 min2×25 min
  • § 5. Number of players and substitution

    5.1 There is no limit to the number of players in each team. However only seven (7) substitutes are allowed in each match of 11-a-side and 9-a-side. Teams may use a maximum of 18 players in a 11-a-side match, 11 players on the field and seven substitutes, and a maximum of 16 players in a 9-a-side match, 9 players on the field and seven substitutes. A substituted player may reenter in the match. Substitutions can be done without stopping the game. Notice that the game has to be stopped and the referee has to be informed at the substitution of a goalkeeper. All substitutions should be done within the technical area of the team. If there is no technical area the substitution should be made at the centre line. The player that will be substituted has to leave the field before the new player can enter the field. Incorrect substitutions will be punished with a yellow card.

    5.2 It is permitted to use a player from the same club in several teams but not in the same age class. This player has to be on the participant list of all teams he/she will play for. The player must also be present during the age control for each team the player plays for. There is no maximum number of players on the participant list.

    5.3 In classes B12, B11, G12 and G11 it is allowed to have an unlimited number of players during a single match, but only seven can be on the playing field simultaneously.

  • § 6. Proof of age and participant list

    Each team must submit a list of players to the Gothia Cup administration before their first match in the tournament. All players MUST be able to identify themselves and to certify their age with a valid passport. ID documents which expired after May 1st are also considered to be valid. Please note, a copy of the passport or ID document is not accepted.

    All teams have to complete the participants list digitally on the team’s My Team Info page. The list of participants should be printed from My Team Info and be brought as a physical copy to the age control.

    The age control can be made on all playing fields used during the Gothia Cup. At the playing fields the age control will be open as long as matches are played, but no later than 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

    The age control can also be made in Exercishuset at Heden from Saturday to Tuesday.

    Each player on the list must be present and be able to show proof of identity.

    The age control must be done no later than Tuesday (July 20th) at 12:00 p.m. Single players can join after the age control on the condition that they are on the original participant list. They must show proof of identity in Exercishuset at Heden before playing their first game. Teams using non-eligible players can be excluded from the tournament.

    Note that the responsible team leader (written on the list of participants) must attend all the players’ age verifications.

    Injured player(s) may be replaced on the list of participants if there is a medical certificate and the number of players on the list of participants is less than 14 in 11-a-side, 12 in 9-a-side and 10 in 7-a-side after the exclusion of the injured player.

  • § 7. Dispensations

    7.1 11-a-side

    In the 11-a-side categories, two (2) dispensations is by default given for overaged players, who can be at most one year over the age limit. Note that it’s not allowed to have more than two overaged players in the roster, who change places in the squad for each game.

    7.2 9-a-side

    In 9-a-side, one (1) dispensation is by default given for one overaged player, who can be at most one year over the age limit. Note that it’s not allowed to have more than one overaged player in the roster, who change places in the squad for each game.

    7.3 7-a-side

    For 7-a-side, no dispensation will automatically be accepted. Dispensations must be applied for prior to July 1st. Dispensations may be applied for a maximum of ONE player who already has a dispensation issued by its regional association or where there are special reasons. After July 1st, applications for dispensations will only be accepted by the jury if there are very special reasons and an administration fee of 500 SEK will be charged.

    7.4 Girls may play in boys' classes as long as the regulations for age categories are followed.

  • § 8. Match information

    8.1 Team list

    • A written team list (This list can be filled out and downloaded/printed from My Team Info) must be handed over to the referee before every match.
    • The number each player has on the team list must be the same as the number of the shirt.
    • All players on the team list are considered as if they have participated in the game.
    • Random controls of team list and participant lists will be carried out.
    • All team officials (maximum 6) have to be indicated with their names on the team list.

    Only these officials are allowed to be in the technical area.  If there are no markings for the technical area it is considered to be an area of 8 meters along the sideline where the substitutes are located.

    8.2 Player uniforms

    • All team shirts must be numbered, and the numbers must correspond to the numbers on the team list. Numbers must be on the back of the shirts. Two players may not use the same number in any given match.
    • If the referee decides that one team should change shirts due to similarity to the opposing team’s shirts, the team appearing last in the match schedule has to change.

    8.3 Before, during and after the game

    • All teams should be ready at the field no later than 15 minutes before kick-off.
    • The team manager must make sure that his players are adequately insured.
    • All players MUST wear shinguards.
    • The teams are responsible for their supporters’ conduct. Bad supporters’ behaviour or conduct can result in team’s exclusion from the tournament.
    • The responsible team official (coach) must immediately after the match sign the referee’s match card in order to confirm the match result, red cards and other events during the game. Failure to sign may result in a notification to the Gothia Cup competition jury.

    8.4 Balls

    Classes B11, B12, B13, G11, G12 and G13 play with balls of size 4. All other matches are played using balls of size 5.

  • § 9. 7-a-side

    Classes G11, B11, G12 and B12 play 7-a-side (one goalkeeper and six players). The offside rule is not applicable. Goal kick can be done from the ground or from the hands of the goalkeeper. He/she can also throw the ball. Sending-off at obvious goal-scoring opportunity is not valid. When passing the ball to the own goalkeeper he/she is NOT allowed to pick up the ball with the hands. Retreat line is not applicable. 

  • § 10. 9-a-side

    Classes G13 and B13 play 9-a-side (one goalkeeper and eight players). The same rules as in 11-a-side are applicable, note that the offside rule is applicable just as in 11-a-side football. The size of the goals is the same as in 11-a-side football. The size of the field is regulated by the Swedish Football Federation’s rules for ”Large 9-a-side”, i.e 72x55 meter. The penalty area is 24x9 meter.

  • § 11. Referees

    The referees are authorized by the Swedish Football Association or another national FA. There will be assistant referees in the following games:

    • Group games and play off A in classes G18, B18, G17, B17, G17E, B17E, G16, B16.
    • From 1/4-final in classes G15, B15, G14, B14, G13 and B13 (only play off A)

    The coordinator of the referees during the tournament will be available in Exercishuset at Heden from Tuesday until Friday. If you have comments about the referees you are more than welcome to leave your feedback.

  • § 12. Tournament jury

    The jury of the tournament consists of representatives of the Swedish Football Association and the Regional Football Association of Gothenburg. The jury handles protests and sanction matters. The decisions of the jury cannot be appealed.

  • § 13. Protests and sanctions

    13.1 Any and all protests must be made in writing and delivered by a responsible official to Exercishuset at Heden, Mjörnvallen, Kungsbacka Center or Kviberg Center no later than 90 minutes after the match is finished.

    • A protest fee of SEK 1500 will be paid at the same time. This fee will be returned if the protest is approved.
    • The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with the game are final. (FIFA rule no. 5). No measures will be taken on protests on decisions made by the referee.

    13.2 Cautions and sending-off offences

    • Any player given a red card is automatically suspended from participation in the following match.
    • The tournament jury can decide about suspension for further games in case of a direct red card.
    • Yellow cards are not accumulated.
    • Each team has the responsibility that a suspended player does not participate in a game (or games) where he/she is suspended.
    • Severe offences will be reported to the FA of the nation concerned.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: If a player that is suspended participates in a game, the team with the suspended player automatically loses the game with 0-3.

  • § 14. Walk over, abandoned match

    14.1 Any team not appearing at the appointed time and place for a match can be declared loser by 0-3, after a decision by the jury. If a team repeatedly fail to appear at the games, the team may be excluded from the tournament. In special cases, the tournament jury may decide to exclude a team at the first offence, i.e. if a deliberate WO favors the own team or is unfair to another team in the group.

    14.2 If a match is interrupted for some reason and can’t be played to the end, the jury will decide if the game has to be replayed or decided by penalty shoot-out or restarted from the minute when it was interrupted, or if the result will be fixed or if one of the teams or both teams lose 0-3.

  • § 15. Match fields

    15.1 All the playing fields are grass or artificial turf.

    15.2 The fields are divided into the following areas: Centrum, Öster, Hisingen, Frölunda, Mölndal, Alingsås and Kungsbacka.

    15.3 In case of bad weather conditions, games may be changed to gravel fields or decided by penalty kicks or drawing of lots.

  • § 16. Match schedule

    The organization committee has the right to change the groups (until July 15th), times and fields.

  • § 17. Organizer

    The Swedish football club BK Häcken organizes the Gothia Cup.

  • § 18. Regulations for school accommodation

    18.1 General

    • The team manager, as indicated on the participant list, is responsible for any damage caused by his/her players.
    • Consumption of alcoholic beverages is absolutely forbidden in the schools.
    • Silence is prescribed in each school between 11 p.m. – 6 a.m.
    • Before departure, you have to clean your classroom.
    • We urge all participants and leaders to never leave valuables or money unattended at the school.

    18.2 To prevent fire

    • Smoking is prohibited in the schools.
    • It is forbidden to cook, make coffee or make other types of food in the classrooms and corridors.

    • It is forbidden to hang clothes or other combustible materials in the corridors.
    • It is forbidden to move desks and chairs etc. out of the classrooms into corridors or other public areas.
    • Please note that doors between the corridors and the stairs must be closed at all times.


  • § 19. Insurance and responsibility

    19.1 By registering to participate in Gothia Cup, the registrant (who is the team manager in charge or someone else tasked by the team manager in charge) verifies that the team manager in charge has been made aware of these stipulations and that the team manager in charge has the necessary authority and permission from the participants, the participants’ guardians and the registered association. Participation in the tournament is at the participants’ own risk and the team manager in charge is responsible for all participants whom the team manager has registered, which should be included in the list of participants.

    19.2 The team manager in charge is obligated to ensure that all participants are insured on the pitch. Each participant is responsible for his/her personal insurance off the pitch. Participants from countries that have no medical insurance agreement with Sweden must have personal medical insurance. Neither Gothia Cup nor the organizer has collective insurance to cover injuries, illness, theft or damages.

    Neither Gothia Cup nor the organizer is responsible for compensation and they are also not responsible for financial losses or damages that may occur due to events outside the control of Gothia Cup or the organizer, such as war-like events, fire, flood, interruptions in public transport connections, government actions, strike or other similar circumstances.

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