WORLD CUP 2023
Katowice Internationals World Cup 2023
Katowice Internationals World Cup, the biggest football event of the year in Katowice, has come back again this year for the V Edition under the slogan “everything is now”. The World Cup is the main project of Katowice Internationals Foundation that started to organise this tournament in May 2018 by Marco Cillepi, the founder of the Foundation (the first garagErasmus section in Poland since 2011), and his friends and cofounders Greg Kandziora and Abadi Murshid. The event has aimed to promote social inclusion and diversity through sport and multicultural interaction in Silesia and Poland.
The World Cup took place on 22nd and 23rd of July 2023 in the pitch next to Stadium Śląski (Chorzów). This year, the whole draw of the tournament has been composed by 24 different national teams from Europe, South America, Africa and Asia and divided in 4 groups. Every team had to be composed by players of the same nationality with the possibility to have a foreigner in the shortlist .
The first day started with the parade, at 13.00, of the national teams to present themselves to their supporters that we can see in the next pics.
After the parade there was an emotional moment where Marco Cillepi welcomed all the teams and the supporters.
In this moment, as a harmonious unity, the players gathered in a crescent moon formation at the heart of the field, eagerly attentive as they listened to the inspiring words of Marco Cillepi, along with Lukasz Kohut (Member of the European Parliament) who shared his motivational messages. The atmosphere brimmed with excitement and determination, setting the tone for an extraordinary event.
Together with Marco and Lukasz were also present Sławomir Witek (Head of Education and Sport Department – Katowice Town Hall) because in this edition we have been granted the Honorary Patronage of the Mayor of Katowice; Edyta (Marketing Manager of the company Wellcome-home whose stand was cleverly situated between the Katowice International Foundation stand and the audience stand, offering refreshing cold drinks and dedicated support to both volunteers and spectators) and Dominika (Fundacja Innowacja i Wiedza) who held their speech between the emotion and the applause of the audience.
Following the heartfelt speeches by the speakers, a moment of camaraderie and joy ensued as the football players and volunteers came together to capture the spirit of the occasion with a memorable souvenir photo. This cherished snapshot marked the beginning of the tournament, encapsulating the sense of unity and shared enthusiasm that would define the day’s festivities.
Following the enjoyable photo shoot, the much-awaited tournament commenced, with the football players displaying their skills and determination on the four pitches within the stadium. Each match was set to last for a competitive 20 minutes, creating an electrifying atmosphere as teams vied for victory and spectators cheered on with unbridled enthusiasm. The pulsating energy of the event reverberated throughout the stadium, making it an unforgettable day of sporting excellence.
Then, at 14.00 the matches started!
The football area was divided in 4 different pitches where all the matches has played at the same time to make the show more exciting.
On the first day of the event, the primary purpose for the teams was to advance to the round of 16. In order to achieve this, teams had to be in the top 4 in groups of 6 teams. Each team in their group engaged in intense competition, playing five football matches, each lasting 20 minutes. We witnessed a fierce struggle between the teams, combined with the passion for football, friendship and the ambition to win.
In the group stages, the Ukraine team emerged as the leader, amassing 13 points, securing the highest score. They were closely followed by Egypt and Yemen, who both earned 12 points. Among the most fiercely contested matches were the 3-3 draw between Sudan and Uzbekistan, as well as the 2-2 draw between Brazil and Tunisia. Despite the teams’ best efforts to secure victory, these matches ended in hard-fought draws.
At the end of the day, the following teams successfully advanced to the round of 16 in the tournament: Yemen, Morocco, Ecuador, Argentina, Portugal, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Brazil, Algeria, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, and Vietnam.
Among the sponsors of this edition, we must mention Katowickie Wodociągi Spółka Akcyjna that played a crucial role by supplying water at the entrance of the pitches through a water tanker. Their support ensured ample hydration for all participants and visitors.
Sunday, the second and last day of the tournament, has seen the teams face each other in head-to-head matches up to the final.
As the previous edition has been decided to let all the teams play even the second day, dividing them in upper part (first teams of each group) and lower part (last teams of each groups) in order to have a winner between the “winners” and the “losers” of the first day.
On the second day of the tournament, the football teams that had advanced to the round of 16 continued their quest to become champions and win the cup. This stage of the tournament is referred to as the upper bracket, while the 8 football teams that did not make it to the top 4 on the previous day began their competition in the lower bracket.
In the upper bracket, the quarter-finals featured matchups between Morocco and Ecuador, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, Nigeria and Brazil, and Tunisia and Egypt. At the end of the matches, Morocco, Ukraine, Nigeria, and Egypt advanced to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, Morocco eliminated Ukraine, one of the tournament’s top favorites, with a 2-0 score in a penalty shootout. Egypt, on the other hand, secured their spot in the final by defeating Nigeria 1-0.
In the final, Morocco and Egypt faced off in a fierce battle to become champions and lift the cup. At the end of the day, Egypt emerged victorious, defeating Morocco with a score of 3-1, and they were crowned the champions of the Katowice International World Cup 2023.
In addition to the winner of the tournament Egypt, we also have the winners of the individual categories:
– Top player: Abiodun Abimbola (Nigeria) – Top scorer: Ahmed Alkhamesi from Yemen (11 scores) Best goalkeeper: Issam Jabar (Marocco)
It proper also to give special thanks to all volunteers that make possible the physical success of the event.