Third Grassroots Festival event held in Gaziantep
© LOC

In partnership with sponsors Ülker, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) staged the third event of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Grassroots Festival in Gaziantep this Friday. The Festival follows a mini-World Cup concept and will take in all seven host cities of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013. 

Sponsored by Ülker, this latest festival which is organised to provide an opportunity for children to play football as part of the grassroots activities, was staged in Gaziantep University’s campus. A total of 240 children from 24 schools in Gaziantep participated in the event. Players had the chance to showcase their skills on specially designed pitches and enjoyed football as much as they can.    

Gaziantep Grassroots Festival Coordinator Mehmet Albay was delighted on the occasion of hosting the event. “Both us and children are very happy about the festival. We are having the pleasure of hosting the Grassroots Festival in Gaziantep as part of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. I would like to thank FIFA, TFF and the Directorate of National Education in Gaziantep who gave us this opportunity as well as Ülker who supported us in the organisation of this event very much. These festivals contribute to our children’s social, mental development and promote the spirit of friendship. The festival held in our city was a success. Thanks to this event, local people will like sport even more and that message will be disseminated in our city” he said. 

Under the framework of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Grassroots Festival, coordinators selected a total of 1,700 12-year-old children and established their teams in association with the Directorate of National Education. These teams are now competing against each other on specially designed pitches, where players have the chance to show off their skills and participate in coordination-training exercises.

Furthermore, the children who earn the highest Fair Play ratings during the events will participate in the Turkey 2013 opening ceremony in Kadir Has Stadium on 21 June.

Sponsored by Ülker, the project will continue with further festivals each Friday during the months of April and May. The Turkey 2013 host cities of Bursa, Istanbul, Rize and Trabzon are scheduled to stage these events.