Tuesday, August 6, 2013


On the 5th September the world’s biggest football tournament for kids between 10 and 12 years old, the Danone Nations Cup World Finals, kicks off in London, England, and representing South Africa will be a team from a school based in the dusty streets of Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, Daniye Primary School. The school will be one of 32 countries that will compete in the 14th edition of the tournament, with four teams representing Africa: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and South Africa.  

The English Government is fully behind the initiative.  “I'm delighted that London will host the 2013 World Final of the Danone Nations Cup,” said Hugh Robertson, British Minister of Sport and Tourism. “More than 400 children and their families from 32 countries will travel to the capital to take part in the World Final at the iconic Wembley Stadium and I'm sure they will be given a warm welcome and have a wonderful experience during their stay in the UK. “

Robertson says the tournament will help bring awareness to sport and exercise to the youth in Britain. “Helping more children participate in sport is a key part of delivering a legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and so one year on there is no better place for the World Final to be held. With over 2 million children participating in the competition worldwide, and over 40,000 in England, it's a great example of how this competition is playing its part in increasing sports participation amongst young people.”

“The 2013 Danone Nations Cup World Final has been officially recognised as 'Inspired By 2012', and can use the emblem of the 2012 legacy campaign. By bringing this competition to the UK on the anniversary of the 2012 Games, Danone has shown real commitment to helping deliver a sustainable activity, health and sports legacy.

For Danone, the tournament is a way of putting into practice the company's mission, ‘to bring health through food to as many people as possible’, by teaching children about the positive values of sport, and the importance of a proper diet and exercise.  To help drive the message each country is encouraged to bring a football celebrity on board.  The tournament ambassador is Zinedine Zidane and in South Africa is Neil Tovey, ex Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs captain.

Other ambassadors, many of whom will be in London to watch their country include:

Algeria / Tarek Hadj Adlane
Famous former striker in the Algerian league.

Saudi Arabia / Mohamed Al Schalhoub
A professional footballer for the best-known club in the country, Al-Hilal FCB.

Argentina / Javier Zanetti
Former captain of the Argentina national team.

Belarus / Alexander Hleb
Formerly at Arsenal and Barcelona now currently plays for FC BATE Borisov.

Belgium / Denis Odoi
Competed as a player in the Danone Nations Cup in 2000 and currently plays in defence for RSC Anderlecht.

Brazil / Cafu
Cafu is the most capped player in the history of the Brazilian national team (148).

Bulgaria / Dimitar Berbatov
Plays for English Premier League side, Fulham.

Canada / Ashtone Morgan
Currently plays for Toronto FC.

Chile / Diego Rivarola
Argentine player who plays as a striker for a Chilean club.

Spain / Vicente del Bosque
A former Spanish international and currently manager of the Spanish national team.

England / Tom Ince
Currently plays in the Championship for Blackpool FC as a winger.

France / Christophe Dugarry
Former international striker. Winner of the World Cup in 1998 and European Championship in 2000.

Germany / Michael Ballack
Star of German football, three times voted Germany's best player and retired a few months ago.

Japan / Tsuyoshi Kitazawa
Former Japanese professional footballer.

Netherlands / Richard Krajicek
Former Dutch tennis star, who won the Wimbledon men's singles title in 1996 by beating Pete Sampras.

Romania / Gheorghe Hagi
Played for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Galatasaray. He is currently a coach.

Ukraine / Maxim Shatskikh
Former emblematic striker for Dynamo Kiev, where he played for ten years.

Danone Nations Cup

World Final Schedule


19 August
4 to 6 September
7 September
World Final
at Wembley


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The Draw for the 14th Danone Nations Cup World Final:

The Draw will take place ahead of the tournament, to create a sense of excitement and expectation in the build-up to the highly anticipated World Final in London. Results will be published on the official website at www.danonenationscup.com

Qualifying rounds, a sporting journey of discovery:

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Closed to the public

Over three days, the children will live and play qualifying games at the same site, Surrey Sports Park in the town of Guildford, just outside London. The sports complex has been selected specially for its accommodation facilities and high level sporting infrastructures.

4Competition schedule

P Wednesday 4 September

Training sessions throughout the day

Followed by the opening ceremony

P Thursday 5 September

                                9am to 6pm

1st day of qualifying matches

48 matches, each lasting 20 minutes

4 matches to take place simultaneously on 4 half-size football pitches

P Friday 6 September

9am to 6pm

2nd day of qualifying matches

The quarter and semi-finals will take place at the end of the day

48 matches, each lasting 20 minutes

4 matches to take place simultaneously on 4 half-size football pitches

The World Final, the big day...

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1.30pm to 7pm

Open to the public

6.00pm Award ceremony

Interview with Zinédine Zidane

You have been an ambassador of the Danone Nations Cup for over ten years. What's behind your loyalty?

At some point in your life, you want to give something back. Football has given me so much, and I want to pass on my experience to the younger generation, not just from a technical point of view, but more in terms of the state of mind you need to adopt. When you're 11, football really is just a game. It's a passion that you live to the full with your friends.

Every year, I'm amazed to see all these kids coming from the four corners of the earth, with their different languages and cultures... yet when they come together on the pitch, all the barriers disappear!

Last year, you presented the Fair Play Award to the team from Ireland. It's a core value of the Danone Nations Cup. Do you subscribe to that?

Absolutely! I believe fair play is a fundamental and central value in sport and in football particularly. It's very important to me. It's crucial for the Danone Nations Cup to support and promote that approach, because fair play is something you take on board at a very young age.

What do you think about the decision to hold the World Final of the Danone Nations Cup in England, and especially at Wembley?

Every year, the Danone Nations Cup Final puts on a breathtaking sporting show. I always enjoy watching these young footballers. What makes this day so much more special for the kids is the opportunity to play in such an iconic stadium. For me, Wembley is one of the finest stadiums in the world, and I have some unforgettable memories of it.

See you at Wembley!

Previous Winners
2012 South Korea
2011 Brazil
2010 Mexico
2009 South Africa
2008 France
2007 South Africa
2006 Reunion Island
2005 Russia
2004 Spain
2003 South Africa
2002 Argentina
2001 Reunion Island
2000 France

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