World Cup glory for Germany and Switzerland? That can’t be right...

Girls' winners St Mary's, aka Switzerland
Girls' winners St Mary's, aka Switzerland

The West Sussex West School Sport Partnership hosted two football World Cup-themed tournaments to coincide with the opening match of this year’s men’s World Cup.

The Year 3 and 4 boys’ tournamen kicked off the day. The Regis School hosted 12 school teams who each brought a squad of at least seven children.

Each team had been allocated a country to represent on the day in the hope the children would undertake a cultural study of their nominated country to make the day as much a learning experience as it was a fun experience.

The schools were Edward Bryant (Belgium), North Mundham (Germany), Parklands (Brazil), St. Mary’s (Switzerland), Westbourne (Poland), Medmerry (Japan), Aldingbourne (Croatia), Bersted Green (Egypt), Kingsham (Portugal), Bishop Tufnell (France), Funtington (Spain) and Barnham (England).

The children played extremely well and with spirit throughout the day and their perseverance was amazing, especially when wind and rain hit. Each team competed in a pool, and the top two teams of that pool then proceeded on to the semi-finals. The first semi-final was Germany v England, which resulted in England being knocked out during extra time.

The second semi saw France beat Brazil. This meant Brazil took on England for third place play-off, after having gone into extra time, both teams settled for joint third after a 1-1 draw.

A special thank you also went to The Regis School sports leaders who gave up their day to referee and coach during the tournament and persevere throughout the tropical conditions. Their support is fundamental to the events.

In the final, Germany beat France 3-0 to take the winners’ medals – which of course won’t be this case for this World Cup. Congratulations to North Mundham for coming first and extended congratulations to all teams who competed.

The Year 3-4 girls’ tournament took place in the afternoon at the University of Chichester, the sister tournament to the boys’ event.

The format was slightly different with a lower number of schools taking part: North Mundham (Germany), March (Russia), Tangmere (Australia), St Mary’s (Switzerland), Edward Bryant (Belgium), Parklands (Brazil) and Westbourne (Poland).

Teams competed in a round robin to find the overall winner. The girls played exceptionally well especially given that most of them hadn’t trained before the event.

They listened to coaching advice given by sports leaders during the warm-up skills session and persevered during hot weather.

Organisers hope it will encourage the girls to play more football at their school.

In third place were Poland with 24 points, while second and first were separated by goal difference. Second with 26 points and a goal difference five was Germany. In first place was Switzerland with 26 points and a goal difference of seven.

Congratulations to St Mary’s on their win and to all teams who competed.

A special thank you also went to The Regis School sports leaders who gave up their day to referee and coach during the tournament and persevere throughout the tropical conditions. Their support is fundamental to the events.