The beautiful weather of 3-5 June allowed for a well-attended 21st edition of the Schuman Trophy Football Tournament at Rosières near Brussels. Around 600 people in 31 teams gathered to compete in a spirit of fair play and friendship, supporting childrens’ charities in the process.
The football teams represented many Directorates-General and Executive Agencies of the Commission, other institutions like the European Parliament, the Council, the Committee of Regions, and the European External Action Service, and also NATO.
In addition, this year was the second edition of the Schuman Trophy Women’s Tournament. Four teams with glorious names took part: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Real Madrid and Chelsea. Whereas on 3 June, Real Madrid had defeated Juventus in the UEFA Champions League final, at the Schuman Trophy, the Juventus women’s team won the tournament and left Real Madrid second. Revanche!
In the main tournament, the teams of EEAS, ERCEA, EASME, the Council, DG RTD, DG SG/HR, DGT and SJ/COMP went through to the final round on Monday 5 June. The final eventually opposed EASME and SJ/COMP and the latter won 1-0 under the eyes of football enthusiast Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, who wore a fit@work T-shirt for the occasion.
IThe Commissioner took the opportunity to recall his strong support for the Schuman Trophy as standing for generosity, friendship between colleagues and fair play among players. He congratulated in particular the winner of the Schuman Trophy Fair Play Cup, DG OLAF, for their spirit all along the tournament and the women’s teams for their performance. A special recognition should go to DG SCIC as well, which had three women on the pitch, in true Schuman Trophy spirit!
Marek, a non-player who came to support his team in an Executive Agency, said: « this is what we would like to see more often, we need to show determination and unity for a good cause and I am sure we can do better. » Françoise, who supported her boyfriend in one of the teams, added: « Look at this, people enjoy it so much, once a year we are all equals and whether we win or we lose, we have such a good time. »
After listening to Commissioner Oettinger’s speech, Marcela, another supporter, expressed her agreement: « unity is really important. Look, competition here is within clear limits, players sometimes heat up and forget that this is a charity. But the referees and the members of the Organising Committee are there every time to recall the need for respect and fair play between colleagues because we are all in a single EU family and the aim is to help poor children, isn’t it? »
With the funds gathered throughout the tournament and beyond, the Schuman Trophy should soon be in a position to support several associations. Staff will be informed in autumn about the specifics of the funds collected thanks to their generosity.