The victorious elementary school teams who won the top prize in the EUFOR Soccer Cup – a VIP trip to the UK’s top football and tourist venues - returned from their from London to Sarajevo Airport yesterday evening (12 March) where they were welcomed home by COM EUFOR, Major General Dieter HEIDECKER and representatives of the British Embassy, including the Defence Attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Rob Tomlinson MBE.
The winning boys’ team was from Mustafa Ejubović šejh Jujo School in Mostar and the girls’ team from the 21 Mart School in Matuzići, Doboj South.
They were crowned champions in the 2012 EUFOR Soccer Cup – the biggest soccer tournament for this age group in BiH – after winning the competition finals held at the Zetra Sports Stadium, Sarajevo in November last year.
The top prize, donated by the UK Government, included VIP behind the scenes visits to Wembley Stadium, Chelsea Football Club at Stamford Bridge and tickets to a premier league match where QPR beat Sunderland 3 to 1 in an exciting second half finish. Specially arranged trips to the British Capital’s top tourist attractions, including the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, were also very much on the children’s list of highlights.
Representatives from the children thanked COM EUFOR, the British Embassy staff as well as all the sponsoring organisations for providing them with such an amazing opportunity and prize. Opinion was divided on what was the best part of the trip, but heavily featured in their replies were the visits to Wembley Stadium, the London Eye and being honoured on the pitch before the QPR match.
COM EUFOR was delighted to see the children had enjoyed the experience stating: “The EUFOR Soccer Cup is an excellent example of the uniting power of sport: it brings young people from different backgrounds together, encouraging them to develop strong team skills and to compete with a spirit of fair-play and sportsmanship.”
Anne MacLeod, representative of the political section of the British Embassy, said: “The UK Government was delighted to be able to support the EUFOR Soccer Cup once again by offering a trip to London for the winning teams. The competition is a valuable opportunity for children from across BiH to interact in a constructive atmosphere”.
The EUFOR Soccer Cup has grown in popularity since its inception in 2009 and now attracts over 350 participating teams and over 8000 children from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
In 2013, this unique Primary School Soccer Cup Competition will run again but will now be taken forward and run under the auspices of the European Union Delegation to BiH/EU Special Representative.
Chief Press Officer:
Lt Col Otmar Lindner
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Lt Cdr Gareth Jones RN
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