On the 14th and 15th of October, EUFOR, together with Armed Forces of BiH (AFBIH), hosted a soccer tournament for teams of children aged 13-15. The event, held at Olympic Hall Zetra, opened with a welcome address from DCOM EUFOR, Brigadier General Carrasco, and two days of fun, sportsmanship and excellent soccer followed.
Over 400 players coming from elementary schools from all areas, backgrounds and ethnicities across Bosnia and Herzegovina were represented in the 48 teams that played in the Olympic Hall in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
After an exciting and close final in front of a number of VIPs, the overall winners for the event were the team from the ’IV’ Primary School in BRCKO. Three exciting trips to see football matches in the UK, Netherlands and Germany were donated as prizes, and the winners chose to travel to London to watch Tottenham Hotspurs play. The second placed team was ‘Camil Sijaric’ primary school from Nemila who chose to visit FC Wolfsburg in Germany, and the third placed team from the ‘Kladani’ primary school will travel to the Netherlands to watch FC Utrecht play two matches.
Closing speeches were given by COM EUFOR, Major General Castagnotto and Marina Pendes, the BiH Deputy Defence Minister, and they then awarded the trophy and prizes to the winning team. Further prizes were awarded by His Excellency the British Ambassador, Mr Michael Tatham; His Excellency the Spanish Ambassador, Mr Alejandro Alvargonzalez San Martin; Lieutenant General Miladin Milojcic (Chief of the Joint Staff AFBiH); Major General Ante Jelec (Operations Commander, AFBiH); Major General Lukasz Chimiak (Deputy Chief of Mission, Polish Embassy); Brigadier General Sakib Foric (Deputy Operations Commander, AFBiH); and Mr Roland Roelofs, the Operations Manager of FC Utrecht.
The prize for fair play and sportsmanship was awarded to the team from the Mostarsko Blato Elementary School in Siroki Brijeg, who had successfully overcome some difficulties in attending the tournament due to recent football-related events in their home town.
On the day before the start of the event the Spanish National football team and the Spanish Minister of Defence, Ms. Carme Chacon, visited camp Butmir and donated some strips of the National team to representatives of the participants in the EUFOR Soccer Cup 2009.
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