The GENERALI CEE Cup is Gearing Up for Success
The lineup is almost complete as 11 of the 12 teams have been confirmed
Brazilian outfit Fluminense are considered the team to beat in this year’s GENERALI CEE Cup after recent success in Europe, while Australian side Olympic FC give the competition a real global feel and will be eager to prove their worth. Meanwhile, the English Premier League will also be represented for the first time with Swansea City's young guns making the trip to Prague.
As ever, the two most famous clubs in the Czech Republic, Slavia and Sparta Prague, will be flying the Czech flag with aspirations of improving on their forgettable performances last year when they failed to make the semi final stages.
The event organisers believe the competition is going from strength to strength with every passing year and they recently became a proud member of the International Football Tournament Organisation (ITFO).
The IFTO have a long and famous tradition that has seen some of the world's top players compete in their tournaments. Tomáš Rosický, Rafael van der Vaart and Toni Kroos have all showcased their talent in IFTO events down the years and Roberto De Blasio, chairman of the organising committee, hopes the GENERALI CEE Cup is no different.
"The expectation is always the same: to see at least one of those 250 players in our tournament to compete at the highest level within a couple of years," De Blasio told Prague.TV "So far, every year we have seen quality players and the best players of the tournament are playing in the first team for their clubs."
The football, of course, takes centre stage but Roberto believes their connection with UNICEF is just as important. "Since the beginning of the event we wanted to create a social responsible project and with UNICEF we found our best partner. They have a solid reputation and a strong relationship with football." Roberto added.
All of the ticket proceeds for the final will be donated directly to UNICEF. The charity are specifically focusing on Ukraine who are suffering from the ill effects of military conflicts in the eastern region of the country. So for those who buy tickets for the final event will be personally contributing to UNICEF’s support of the affected area.
Since its inception five years ago, the tournament has grown in stature and can be illustrated with the inclusion of Fluminense who confirmed their attendance way back in February this year.
"We have a good mix of football philosophies," Roberto De Blasio told Prague.TV "From the quality and technical ability of Fluminense through to the solid CEE teams like Slavia, Sparta and FK Sarajevo. Which is also complemented with the well-organised academy of Swansea City and the emergence of the Australians."
But it’s not just the teams in attendance that is breaking new ground, for the first year ever you can watch live streams of ALL of the GENERALI CEE Cup games via their website.
The 12-team tournament is split into four groups of three teams with matches to be played at Admira, Strahov and Viktoria Zizkov stadiums. The winners of the groups will advance to the semi finals while the remaining teams play-off for a final ranking position.
The tournament will conclude with the final to be played at the Viktoria Zizkov stadium on 29 July 2015. All of the matches are FREE to attend, however, tickets will be required for the final and cost 100kc each. Although the final promises to be a special occasion with activities for the kids to get involved in, face painting and free goodies to give away.
The lineup is almost complete as 11 of the 12 teams have been confirmed "We have one spot remaining and hope to announce the inclusion of another top European youth team in the coming weeks" De Blasio concluded.
For further information on the schedule and how to buy tickets for the final, please visit www.ceecup.org.
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