site.bta400 Kids Take Part in Mini World Cup Organized by Bulgarian Football Union
About 400 children from 31 schools in Sofia and a squad of young Ukrainian refugees playing as Team UNICEF participated in a three-day Mini World Cup 2022 for girls and boys of 2nd to 4th grade, which ended in the Bulgarian capital on Thursday. The football tournament was organized by the Bulgarian Football Union in partnership with Sofia City Hall and UNICEF Bulgaria.
The competition was won by G. S. Rakovski Primary School No. 120, who stood for the national men's team of the United States, one of the entrants in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022. In the grand final, they defeated Hristo Smirnenski Primary School No. 109, standing for Spain, by a score of 3-0.
In a dramatic game for third place, Simeon Radev Primary School No. 145 (Belgium) beat Stoyan Zaimov Primary School No. 112 (Argentina) after a penalty shootout.
The format of the Mini World Cup was exactly the same as that of the FIFA World Cup, with each school team symbolically representing an entrant in the Qatar finals. Each team had 12 members, at least 3 of them girls.
Individual awards were granted for fair play, outstanding male/female player, and best goalkeeper.
The winning team received their award from Bulgarian Football Union Vice President Mihail Kasabov. The other team and individual awards were presented by UNICEF Representative to Bulgaria Christina de Bruin, Sofia Municipality Sports and Youth Director Dessislava Temelkova and TV commentators of the World Cup in Qatar.
The Mini World Cup 2022 was yet another initiative of the Bulgarian Football Union under the Let's Kick Ball Programme, which supports mass football. The event came immediately after World Children's Day (November 20), which marked the beginning of a UNICEF fundraising campaign mottoed "Support the Team of the Future - Children in Bulgaria". The campaign aims to draw attention to the problems affecting children's lives.
Every kid, not just the winners, received a medal and a diploma for his/her participation in the tournament and a special T-shirt donated by UNICEF. The Bulgarian Football Union provided the fields, balls and referees, while City Hall took care of the awards for the top three teams.