Football tournament brings together Balkans’ youth

A youth football tournament brought together youngsters from across the Western Balkans region to promote cultural exchanges and tackle societal issues, including football-related nationalism, between 18 - 20 April, in the Brcko Disktrikt of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In football, the Balkans has long history of producing brilliant players and legendary clubs. It is an important region for the development of the sport that remains hindered by regional divides and bitter wars. Against this background it has been the focus of many initiatives to address young people to increase understanding.

Teams of under-12’s from Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Austria participated in the event, which was held under the motto ‘Football without borders’ with the aim of promoting values of understanding, tolerance, solidarity and inclusion on an international level.

The tournament was organised by the sports school EUROGOL and Fare member Balkan Alpe Adria Project, as part of the international initiative ‘Football unites the Alps, the Adriatic and the Balkans’, developed in cooperation with UEFA and the Football Associations (FA) of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro.

The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian FA, the country’s sports ministry and the project leaders from the Balkan Alpe Adria Project.

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