CEE Cup starts at the end of July

The eighth edition of the youth football tournament will culminate in Doliček

Prague will host the eighth edition of the CEE Cup, a prestigious football tournament for under 19 players on July 25–31.

Teams will be coming from Everton, Beşiktaş, Palmeiras, Sarajevo, Nitra and the traditional Prague clubs, Sparta and Slavia. The emerging Nigerian Academy Real Sapphire will also participate.

Beşiktaş will bring their 2001-born stars to Prague. Slavia's players of the same age are also the pride of their youth teams. During the past season, the Czech team dominated the nationwide youth league and its members largely appear in the youth national team nominations. Everton as well deserves great attention, as they will try their best to defend their victory in the previous CEE Cup.

The clubs are divided into two groups, and the winners will meet July 31 at the final in Doliček Stadium in Prague’s Vršovice district. The draw determined that Slavia will play in group A with Besiktas, Everton and Real Sapphire. Sparta will face Palmeiras, Nitra and Sarajevo.

There are some differences this year that might make the tournament more exciting.

"I think that this year's tournament will be more attractive due to the fact that there are three games for each team in the group phase, compared to the previous format with three-member groups. In addition, there will be high-quality teams, which from the first phase will directly qualify for the finals,” director of the tournament's organizing committee Roberto De Blasio said.

The final match will be preceded by the Kid's Football Day, intended for football players and beginners aged 6-12. The event will be handled by the former footballer Tomáš Jun, participation is free of charge and gifts and refreshments will be available for the children.

Most of the games will be free of charge: except for the final duel, when tickets will be available on-site Kč 100, while the admission is free for the participants of the Kid's Football Day.

"We are happy that this year's season will be launched once again with this prestigious tournament, which can be a great experience for the fans and a very valuable experience for young Czech players,” Otakar Mestek, director of the Nonprofessional and Youth Football Division of the Czech Football Association said.

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