Football- One of the world's biggest football organizations, Norway Cup lasts one week, starting in the end of July/beginning of August every year.
A popular event during the tournament is the great Norway Cup Show with international and national artists. The show starts with a fantastic parade.
There are also many additional activities this week: concerts, miniature golf, non-alcoholic disco, celebrity match, amusement park, and much more.
More than Sports
Among many other sport facilities based on Ekeberg area, a large military tent strikes the visitors of Norway Cup. The young soldiers are helping a 10-year-old boy to wear a mini protective soldier jacket. In the backyard of the tent, a group of teens are lined up for hitting combat helmets attached to sticks by kicking a soccer ball, while five young girls are competing each other to finish a military training game mixed with football.
- We aim to inform youngsters about military education and Norwegian defense system in a fun way, says the female soldier supervising "hit the helmet" game. She adds Norwegian defense ministry has a special interest in this tournament because they could find a lot of young people who are interested in learning about military.
Last year, the participation level of military in the tournament was a bit different. Norwegian Defence Minister Grete Faremo had met the players of Faryab United from Afghanistan and spectated them through their matches. Defense minister had also expressed that the team's participation would increase awareness about the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan.
History of the Tournament
The tournament first began in 1977. In that year, the organizer Bækkelagets Sports Club arranged both the Oslo Cup in handball and Norway Cup at the same time. However, only Norway Cup has continued till today.
In the first years of the arrangement, only Norwegian and European teams participated in the tournament. In 1972, only seven European countries were represented with 126 teams. In 1979, the Brazilian team Pequeninos from Sao Paulo came to Norway Cup. This team consisted of poor children from the slums in their country. For them, the trip to the Norway Cup was a glimpse of hope and encouragement in comparison to the misery at home. At the same time, these youths conquered the whole of Ekebergsletta and quickly became the tournament's favorites. That was the beginning of what today is one of the most important issues for Norway Cup: the colorful friendship.
Also, that tournament was the beginning of internationalization of the cup. More than a thousand teams participated in Norway Cup in 1979. Since that time, Norway Cup has had more than a thousand participating teams from all over the world.
The world's largest organization in its kind
In the period between 1972 and 2010, a total of 44.479 teams have participated in Norway Cup, while the the nearest competitor Swedish Gothia Cup could attract 31.540 teams.
This year, 1400 football teams from 65 nations participates in Norway Cup.
40 years in 2012
Norway Cup was first held in 1972, but was not held in 1976. The organization celebrates its 40th year.
The celebration will be highlighted properly in the summer of 2012.
30.000 Participants (12 – 19 years)
360 Refereers and 60 observers
1200 Volunteers from the organizing club