UEFA Praises Young Ukrainian Footballers
Kyiv, May 15, 2012. UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino noted the excellent level of skill of Ukrainian school students as he visited the final match of the Football National Cup EURO 2012 among school students. “These players are good footballers, they are in great physical shape. Now I see that Ukrainian football has prominent future,” said Infantino.
The final match of the Cup between the students of Ternopil and Sumy public schools took place at the EURO 2012 final site – the National Sports Complex Olimpiyskyi in Kyiv on May 12th. Sumy public school number 18 football team received the winner’s laurels at the pan-Ukrainian championship. The team won the first price through the series of overtime penalty as the match ended in a draw of 2:2. The winners from eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy were awarded with tickets to EURO 2012 final.
The Football National Cup EURO 2012 for Schools in Ukraine began on March 20, 2012. Over 10,000 teams participated in the championship. Nearly 8,000 matches were held within the tournament.
Interestingly, a similar competition – the junior EURO 2012 was held in Chişinău, Moldova, on May 5-13, 2012. Teams of 7-11 year olds, as well as ones from the 12-14 age group participated in the tournament. Ukrainian national team won the junior EURO 2012 in the 7-11 age group, while Italy took the first spot among 12-14 year olds.
Teams representing Greece, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, the UK, and Ukraine participated in the junior EURO 2012. Curiously, two teams from Transnistria (breakaway territory bordering on Ukraine) decided to represent Ukraine at the championship.
Ukrainian junior team from Transnistria (7-11 year olds) won over their rivals representing Italy. At the same time, 12-14 year old footballers representing Italy managed to score higher than their peers representing the Netherlands, securing themselves the victory in that age group.
The organizers of the matches highlight the fact that the tournament united children from two banks of Dniester and celebrated friendship and peace. Notably, the tournament in Chişinău only featured non-professional players who come from humble beginnings. The embassies of Poland and Ukraine in Moldova initiated the tournament aiming to organize a holiday for the kids, while giving them an opportunity to communicate with their peers.