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Gothia Cup joins Gothenburg party

Not only have around 40,000 people watched the three finals games so far in Gothenburg but a number not far off that have been taking part in the annual Gothia Cup youth event.

SG Schledehausen/TSV Osnabrück players at the match
SG Schledehausen/TSV Osnabrück players at the match ©UEFA.com

Around 40,000 people have watched the three UEFA Women's EURO 2013 matches at Gamla Ullevi – but the finals have not been the only footballing show in town in Gothenburg.

Each year the city hosts the Gothia Cup, the world's biggest youth tournament, with more than 37,000 players taking part. Many of the participants took advantage of the free entry offered by UEFA last night for the match between Denmark and Finland, boosting the crowd to over 8,000.

Among those were 18-year-old junior players from German club SG Schledehausen/TSV Osnabrück. "It's really nice getting entrance for free," said Jona, one of the Osnabrück contingent. "We are the ones making noise here."

Thomas Walfridsson, responsible for Gamla Ullevi during the finals, told UEFA.com: "Every year we offer the Gothia Cup players free entrance to a football game and this year we thought it would be a great opportunity to let them watch a Women's EURO game. The Gothia Cup youths are representing the entire world and together with UEFA we hope to offer them an exciting EURO feeling."

The Gothia Cup has been running since 1975. Some 1,615 teams of players aged between ten and 19, representing 79 nations, will play 4,520 matches on 110 pitches over the course of this week. Veterans of the tournament include Júlio Baptista, Xabi Alonso, Andrea Pirlo, Alan Shearer and – currently involved in UEFA Women's EURO 2013 – Sweden quartet Caroline Seger, Nilla Fischer, Therese Sjögran and Hedvig Lindahl, Finland's Susanna Lehtinen and Germany striker Célia Okoyino da Mbabi.