By Peterking Quaye – Asppuden (from Sweden) for the girls and Right to Dream (from Ghana) for the boys finally hold the trophy. Beating the other 11 participating teams. After Two days of competition in Oslo (Norway), at stake was the MTG United for Peace Cup 2011.
Friday 7 October, the first day of MTG United for Peace Cup final, was a busy and exciting day for the 130 kids from 12 different countries gathered in Norway’s capital of Oslo. After the football tournaments held in the 12 MTG countries earlier this year, the winning teams from each country met not only to play football but also to make new friends and learn more about team spirit, tolerance and social integration.
The day began with a visit to the Nobel Peace Center where the children were part of activities marking the announcement that Johnson- Sirleaf, Gbowee and Karman were winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
While at the Nobel Peace Center, the children were informed and educated through an interactive School of Tolerance, to further their cultural understanding and integration.
The afternoon was dedicated to the football tournament pool games, with the 12 teams putting all their training in recent weeks to the test. Fair play is at the centre of MTG United for Peace’s mission, so the players were encouraged to bring not only their skills and commitment, but also the right attitude to the pitch.
By the end of the day, it was the boys’ teams Team Slovenia (from Slovenia) and Right to Dream Academy in partnership with Vodafone (from Ghana) and the girls’ teams Asppuden (from Sweden) and Tower Hamlets (from the UK) that made it through to the next day’s finals.
Saturday 8 October was the climax of this event which has built bridges between kids from different backgrounds and opened them to other cultures. All the participants discovered Oslo during the traditional Peace Walk around the city, which celebrated the three (3) 2011 Nobel Peace Laureates, guided by Jan Åge Fjørtoft, chairman of MTG United for Peace.
The rest of the day was of course dedicated to the common passion of all the kids: football. The 12 teams attended the final, supporting their new friends.
Asppuden (from Sweden) won with a score of 1-0 against Tower Hamlets (from the UK). And Right to Dream (from Ghana) finally came out on top for the boys after an exciting game against Team Slovenia from Slovenia (3-0).
And as two teams composed of one player of each nationality met in the mixed final, all countries had the opportunity to be represented in the final stages of the competition.
The mixed final offered one more opportunity for the kids to spend time together, overtaking language or cultural barriers thanks to the medium of football, with a great spirit of tolerance and friendship.
The tournament was closed by a Celebrity Charity Game. This weekend of discoveries, learning and tolerance will stay a lifelong memory for the young footballers. All participants leave Norway winners, proud of their achievements representing their country in the MTG United for Peace 2011 Cup.