The Generali CEE Cup getting ready to kick-off

The competition opens its doors to teams outside of Central and Eastern Europe for the first time

Prague will play host to a select group of elite Under 19 football clubs when The 2013 Generali CEE Cup gets underway on July 24 – July 31. Three Prague-based clubs, Sparta, Slavia and Bohemians 1905 will be aiming to follow the lead of the 2011 and 2012 winners, Mlada Boleslav, and keep the trophy on Czech soil.

However, this year’s renewal looks much tougher on paper as the competition opens its doors to teams outside of Central and Eastern Europe for the first time. The additions of Cruz Azul (Mexico) and Maccabi Haifa (Israel) represent a significant milestone for a tournament that is at the forefront in promoting youth development and fair play.

“Each year we want to get the absolute top youth teams to take part in the CEE Cup, and with the level of many of the CEE teams so high, we thought it would be fantastic to invite a couple of leading clubs from outside Europe to take part,” said Roberto De Blasio, chairman of the CEE Cup organizing committee “It gives the players from the CEE region a chance to compete against players with a very different football mentality.”

The draw for The 2013 Generali CEE Cup was made on Monday 24th June 2013 and has given Bohemians 1905 a baptism of fire against the talented Mexican outfit Cruz Azul. The Mexican’s have included Francisco Javier Flores and Inaki Dominguez in their squad – both players have first team experience with the latter playing in the 2012 Copa Libertadores.

Group Stage Draw

Group A – Bohemians 1905, Cruz Azul, Vasas Budapest

Group B – Slovan Bratislava, Sturm Graz, Ferencvaros

Group C – Slavia Praha, Universitatea Cluj, FK Sarajevo

Group D – Sparta Praha, Gyor, Maccabi Haifa

Matches will be played at Admira, Satalice, Strahov and Viktoria Zizkov stadiums. The full schedule is available here:

Since its inception in 2011, the CEE Cup has received the full support of the Czech Football Association (FAČR). The tournament focuses on “Respect”, “Fair Play” and “Competitiveness”. In addition to supporting young footballers, the CEE Cup also supports charity and every year it donates 20% of the income received from sponsors and 50% from each ticket sold to UNICEF.

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