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Football tournament in Oslo unites 45 nations

Norway Cup, the world’s biggest football tournament for children and youngsters, this year attracted a record breaking number of 1560 teams from 45 different nations.

Football can unite people across borders and Norway Cup, which took place from 29 July to 4 August, was yet again an arena for bridge building and a colourful unity as much as an international football tournament.

"It might be considered a drop in the ocean. But we are convinced that this drop makes a difference. Norwegian youth become more aware of the outside world through meetings with peers from different cultural, social backgrounds and children of different skin colour. We see the effect through, among other things, the increase in numbers of friendship clubs", says the secretary general of the cup Frode Kyvåg.

Long history
Norway Cup has attracted football enthusiasts from all over the world since 1972. Since then the cup has expanded into a global football festival where 430 participating teams have now increased to more than 1500.

Young female footballers in action. Photo: Pierre De Brisis/ MFA Norway

Ground breaking
With football at the core, Norway Cup is a pioneer in several areas. The tournament is a frontrunner in aid projects involving sports as well as been a role model for gender equalisation within football - in Oslo women have played football on an equal basis as men since the beginning  of the cup in 1972.

Aid donour
In collaboration with the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) Norway Cup run aid projects in several developing countries. In the 1980s they started projects in both Tanzania and Kenya, where the objective was to inspire young people to take part in sport activities as well as to get them involved in other issues, such as combating AIDS. In 1995 a Palestinian team and an Israeli team played a match for the first time.

Norway Cup has been presented with national as well as international awards. The cup has received the UEFA award (2002), Hjelpestikkerprisen (2001), UNICEF’s honourable prize (1995) and the Youths Peace Prize (1993).

International football tournament. Photo: Pierre De Brisis/ MFA Norway

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