Switzerland: Soccer Tournament for Children


By Seraina Termine, UPF Switzerland

For the 6th time, the little town of Novazzano near the Italian border hosted the yearly children’s soccer tournament PEACE CUP, promoted by UPF- Ticino since 2011 in cooperation with the local soccer association. 10 teams of schoolchildren, aged 9 to 11 years, gathered on Sunday May 7th after being prepared by their coaches to spend one day challenging fair-play on the soccer field and spectator stands.

The four young referees, together with the UPF staff and the coaches, carefully observed the games and recorded all the significant gestures of behavior. One of the referees, Flavio (19 years old) has been participating in the Peace-Cup three times already, and was willing to give me the following short interview:

  • “What is special about this tournament?” “It is a game which entertains and socializes, not just a competition.”
  • “What do you particularly like about the Peace-Cup?” “Here nobody complains!”
  • “Why do you keep coming back as a referee for the Peace Cup?” “I like children, I like nature and I like games. This job is perfect, only this time I’m a little stressed, because at the moment I’m facing my final professional exams. However, so far today, everything has been going very well!”

During the tournament all of us could experience a multitude of emotions, from the jumps of the winners to the tears of the losers, who after some disappointment, received comforting hugs from the winners! UPF-Ticino assigned many awards: The only team participating from Italy won the competition, while the main trophy “PEACE CUP” was presented to the 6th ranking team “Ceresio” for their special investment. Many other prizes were awarded to individuals, who showed outstanding courage and action in harmony with the motto: “Play football, build Peace”

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