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July 12, 2013 | Europe Eurasia: Sweden

Special Olympics Footballers in World Youth Cup

By Maureen Rabbitt

More than 20 Special Olympics teams from more than 10 countries will take part in 2013, in six different divisions.

The Kim Källström Trophy Tournament, taking place in Gothenburg from July 14-18, is part of the Gothia Cup, the world’s largest youth football tournament held annually in Gothenburg, Sweden, open for both boys and girls of ages 11 to 19 years.

With regards to the number of participants, it was the world's largest football tournament in 2012; a total of 35,200 players from 1567 teams and 72 nations participated. Kim Källström, a professional footballer who plays for the Swedish national team and French top club Olympique Lyonnais player, initiated the opportunity for young people with intellectual disabilities to be part of the prestigious Gothia Cup by creating the Kim Källström Trophy Tournament.

Källström cites his grandmother as the source of his inspiration; “She worked with children and youths with intellectual disabilities for a long time. My wish is that as many people as possible will get the opportunity to be part of the fellowship and joy that football creates. Taking part in the world’s largest football tournament, the Gothia Cup, will be a memory for life and will increase respect and understanding of people with intellectual disabilities.”

About Maureen Rabbitt: I am Communications Director for Special Olympics Europe Eurasia

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