Posted: 7/19/2010


     It get's better every year and I was there at the small march past of the 2nd Gothia Cup at Valvalla Stadion in 1976.

     Tonight The Black Eyed Peas song says it so well. I've Got a Felling That Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night. And so it was !!! GOTHIA CUP 2010 at the famous nya ┘llevi Stadion in Goteborg, Sweden where a young 17 year old teenager called PELE played his first ever World Cup match in 1958.

      Fifty-two thousand spectators, 1,600 teams, and a two hour Opening Ceremony spectacle to rival any Olympic Games, and without the politics. Most of those inside the stadium were younger than Pele was 52 years ago. It was a slick show presided over by singer, host JOHAN VODIN  on a huge stage in the centre of the arena. teams representing all the nations marched in and there was a song and dance show featuring Swedish artists plus Canadian Indians in head dresses, Hawaiins in grass skirts and more.

     I thought that the big screen chat from the president of main sponsor SKF was going to be boring, as he told what looked like his son about the global company and presented him with the match ball. The chairman was Scottish and obviously the 'son' wasn't. The kid juggled the ball around Gothenburg on video and then into the stadium, obviously more Brazilian than Scottish, he was actually a Swede!

     'Ooooooh Woooooh! Give me freedom, give me reason'.  The FIFA 2010 song was also sung and was a big hit and there was not one vuvuzelas to be seen or heard.  The Zambian team was a big hit dancing as they marched in that staggered jog, and the Argentinians, Norwegians, and India contingents put on a colourful display, but some were disorganized. The Mexicans looked like a dog's dinner.

    Gothia Cup started out in 1975 as a joint project between BK Hacken and GAIS, two local clubs, and newspaper Arbetet. GAIS dropped out in 1981. About 442,000 meals are served to teams in local schools, but nowadays many teams stay in the hundreds of local hotels and lots of parents accompany them. 440 balls are used and about 22,000 goals are scored. Ten full time staff are under the direction of Dennis Andersson and the site receives over 5 million hits annually. Look at it all week.