2900 Games Before the Winners are Found
When the last final has finished on Saturday, 2895 matches at Dana Cup 2016 have been played – 140 more than 2015. With 65 more teams than in 2015, naturally, more games are played and more pitches are needed.
'As a consequence, this year we use 70 football pitches against 65 last year,' explains the head of the tournament Ole Vang Bruun, who spends months putting the giant puzzle that will eventually become the world's third largest youth football tournament.
In fact, he could easily put all the registrations into a computer program and let the software do the rest.
'But as a service for the teams we try to accommodate the many special requests that clubs may have. Many clubs want that the games the clubs are involved in, do not take place at the same time since some players might play for more than one team. If for instance, we have eight teams from the Oslo area we make sure, as far as possible, that they do not immediately play each other. Moreover, we also try to organise games so that teams from a larger area do not meet in the first matches. If a country has two clubs in the tournament we place them in each tournament half, so that they do not meet before the final, just as my ambition is that all teams must have at least one match in the centre area, but with so many teams I see that there are teams that do not get to play in the centre area,' says Ole Vang Bruun with regret in his voice.
'This year, we have 284 groups of four teams each and 17 groups of five teams each. 90 of the 284 groups had special requests, so it can easily become a fairly comprehensive puzzle making all the wishes come true,' explains Ole Vang Bruun with remorse in his voice.