Tournament regulation

§ 1. Rules

The Gothia Cup will be played in accordance with applicable sections of the FIFA rules and the Swedish F.A. rules. When subject to interpretation of FIFA rules or regulations, the English text applies.

§ 2. Competition rules


Participating teams must belong to a club or academy that is a registered with its national FIFA affiliated association. School teams from countries where school teams can participate in the official football competitions of the national football association and are registered with the national school association are also allowed to participate. All players must be registered with the club they are playing for. Please note that players cannot belong to a club from a country where the player is not residing.


The teams are divided into groups of four or five where all the teams will meet in a round robin serie. The order among the teams will be decided according to points. 3 points will be awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss.

If two or more teams have the same number of points, the order will be decided as follows:

  1. Goal difference

  2. Highest number of goals scored

  3. Results in the match(es) between teams with equal points (head to head)

  4. Penalty shoot-out according to the FIFA rules

2.3 Playoff

The two best teams in each group will advance to playoff A. The other teams in the group will advance to playoff B. All playoff games will be decided by the cup system, i.e. by direct elimination. A draw in the playoff will be decided by penalty kicks according to the FIFA rules.

§ 3. Age categories 2024

B18 - Boys born 1/1-2006 or later (11-a-side)
B17 - Boys born 1/1-2007 or later (11-a-side)
B16 - Boys born 1/1-2008 or later (11-a-side)
B15 - Boys born 1/1-2009 or later (11-a-side)
B14 - Boys born 1/1-2010 or later (11-a-side)
B14B - Boys born 1/1-2010 or later (9-a-side)*
B13 - Boys born 1/1-2011 or later (9-a-side)
B12 - Boys born 1/1-2012 or later (7-a-side)
B12 Friendly - Boys born 1/1-2012 or later (7-a-side)**
B11 - Boys born 1/1-2013 or later (7-a-side)
B11 Friendly - Boys born 1/1-2013 or later (7-a-side)**

G18 - Girls born 1/1-2006 or later (11-a-side)
G17 - Girls born 1/1-2007 or later (11-a-side)
G16 - Girls born 1/1-2008 or later (11-a-side)
G15 - Girls born 1/1-2009 or later (11-a-side)
G14 - Girls born 1/1-2010 or later (11-a-side)
G14B - Girls born 1/1-2010 or later (9-a-side)*
G13 - Girls born 1/1-2011 or later (9-a-side)
G12 - Girls born 1/1-2012 or later (7-a-side)
G12 Friendly - Girls born 1/1-2012 or later (7-a-side)**
G11 - Girls born 1/1-2013 or later (7-a-side)
G11 Friendly - Girls born 1/1-2013 or later (7-a-side)**

* The age category plays 9-a-side. We reserve the right to cancel this category no later than April 1st if less than 20 teams are registered.

** In girls and boys 11 and 12 Friendly no results are published and there is no playoff.

§ 4. Playing period

Age category

Group stage and playoff B

Playoff A

B18, B17, B16, B15

2×25 min

2×30 min

G18, G17, G16, G15

2×25 min

2×30 min


2×20 min

2×25 min

§ 5. Number of players and substitution


There is no limit to the number of players in each team. However only seven (7) substitutes are allowed in each match of 11-a-side and 9-a-side. Teams may use a maximum of 18 players in a 11-a-side match, eleven players on the pitch and seven substitutes, and a maximum of 16 players in a 9-a-side match, nine players on the pitch and seven substitutes. A substituted player may reenter in the match. Substitutions can be done without stopping the match. Notice that the match has to be stopped and the referee has to be informed at the substitution of a goalkeeper. All substitutions should be done within the technical area of the team. If there is no technical area the substitution should be made at the centre line. The player that will be substituted has to leave the pitch before the new player can enter the pitch. Incorrect substitutions will be punished with a yellow card.


It is permitted to use a player from the same club in several teams but not in the same age category. This player must be on the participant list of all teams he or she will play for. The player must also be present during the age control for each team the player plays for. There is no maximum number of players on the participant list.


In categories B12, B11, G12 and G11 it is allowed to have an unlimited number of players during a single match, but only seven can be on the pitch simultaneously.

§ 6. Proof of age and participant list

All teams must submit a list of players to the Gothia Cup administration before their first match in the tournament. All players must be able to identify themselves and to certify their age with a valid passport or ID. Players from countries that do not need passport to travel to Sweden can use other ID with photo. ID documents which expired after June 30th 2024 are also considered to be valid. Please note, a copy of the passport or ID document is not accepted.

All teams have to complete the participants list digitally at Gothia Account. The list of participants must then be printed from Gothia Account and be brought as a physical copy to the age control.

The age control can be carried out at all playing fields used during Gothia Cup. At the playing fields the age control will be open as long as matches are played on Monday and until 12.00 on Tuesday. The age control can also be carried out at Exercishuset at Heden from Saturday to Tuesday.

At the age control, each player on the participant list must be present and be able to show proof of identity. The age control must be completed no later than Tuesday, July 14th, at 12.00. Single players can join after the age control on the condition that they are on the original participant list. They must show proof of identity at Exercishuset at Heden before playing their first match. Note that the responsible team leader (written on the list of participants) must attend all the players’ age verifications.

Teams in the age categories girls and boys 11 and 12 Friendly do not have to do the age control. Teams in these age categories only need to submit the list of participants. The list of participants can be submitted at the same locations where the age control is taking place.

Teams using non-eligible players can be excluded from the tournament.

Injured player(s) may be replaced on the list of participants if there is a medical certificate and the number of players on the list of participants is less than 14 in 11-a-side, 12 in 9-a-side and 10 in 7-a-side after the exclusion of the injured player.

§ 7. Dispensations

7.1 11-a-side

In the 11-a-side categories, two (2) dispensations are by default given for overaged players, who can be at most one year over the age limit. Note that it’s not allowed to have more than two overaged players in the roster, who change places in the squad for each match.

In SEF Trophy and Gothia Puma Trophy B17 no over aged players are allowed.

7.2 9-a-side

In 9-a-side, one (1) dispensation is by default given for one overaged player, who can be at most one year over the age limit. Note that it’s not allowed to have more than one overaged player in the roster, who change places in the squad for each match.

7.3 7-a-side

For 7-a-side, no dispensation will automatically be accepted. Dispensations must be applied for prior to July 1st. Dispensations may be applied for a maximum of ONE player who already has a dispensation issued by its regional association or where there are special reasons.

After July 1st, applications for dispensations will only be accepted by the jury if there are very special reasons and an administration fee of 500 SEK will be charged.


Girls may play in boys' classes as long as the regulations for age categories are followed.

§ 8. Match information

8.1 Team list

  • A written team list (This list can be filled out and downloaded/printed from Gothia Account) must be handed over to the referee before every match.

  • The number each player has on the team list must be the same as the number of the shirt.

  • All players on the team list are considered as if they have participated in the match.

  • Random controls of team list and participant lists will be carried out.

  • All team officials (maximum 6) have to be indicated with their names on the team list.

    • Only these officials are allowed to be in the technical area.  If there are no markings for the technical area it is considered to be an area of 8 meters along the side line where the substitutes are located.

8.2 Player uniforms

  • All team shirts must be numbered, and the numbers must correspond to the numbers on the team list. Numbers must be on the back of the shirts. Two players may not use the same number in any given match.

  • If the referee decides that one team should change shirts due to similarity to the opposing team’s shirts, the team appearing last in the match schedule has to change.

  • Advertising may appear on players' match uniforms. The advertisement must not contain messages that may seem hurtful or offensive, such as advertising for tobacco, alcohol or pornography.

8.3 Before, during and after the match

  • All teams should be ready at the pitch no later than 15 minutes before kick-off.

  • The team manager must make sure that his or her players are adequately insured.

  • All players MUST wear shinguards.

  • The teams are responsible for their supporters’ conduct. Bad supporters’ behaviour or conduct can result in team’s exclusion from the tournament.

  • The responsible team official (coach) must immediately after the match sign the referee’s match card in order to confirm the match result, red cards and other events during the match. Failure to sign may result in a notification to the Gothia Cup competition jury.

8.4 Balls

Age categories B11, B12, B13, G11, G12 and G13 play with ball size 4. All other matches are played using ball size 5.

§ 9. 7-a-side

Age categories G11, B11, G12 and B12 play 7-a-side (one goalkeeper and six players). The offside rule is not applicable. Goal kick can be done from the ground or from the hands of the goalkeeper. He or she can also throw the ball. When passing the ball to the own goalkeeper he or she is NOT allowed to pick up the ball with the hands. Retreat line is not applicable. 

In Girls 11,12 Friendly and Boys 11,12 Friendly sending-off at obvious goal-scoring opportunity is not valid.

§ 10. 9-a-side

Age categories G14B, B14B play 9-a-side (one goalkeeper and eight players). The same rules as in 11-a-side are applicable, note that the offside rule is applicable just as in 11-a-side football. The size of the goals is the same as in 11-a-side football for age categories G14B and B14B. The goals for G13 and B13 are 9-a-side goals (6x2,2 meters). The size of the pitch is regulated by the Swedish Football Federation’s rules for 9-a-side, i.e 72x55 meter for B14B and G14B and 65x50 for G13 and B13. The penalty area is 24x9 meter.

§ 11. Referees

The referees are authorized by the Swedish Football Association or another national FA. There will be assistant referees in the following matches:

  • Group stage matches and playoff A in age categories G18, B18, G17, B17, G17E, B17E, G16, B16.

  • From 1/4-final in age categories G15, B15, G14, B14, G13 and B13 (only playoff A)

The coordinator of the referees during the tournament will be available in Exercishuset at Heden from Tuesday until Friday. If you have comments about the referees you are more than welcome to leave your feedback.

§ 12. Tournament jury

The jury of the tournament consists of representatives of the Swedish Football Association and the Regional Football Association of Gothenburg. The jury handles protests and sanction matters. The decisions of the jury cannot be appealed.

§ 13. Protests and sanctions


Any and all protests must be made in writing and delivered by a responsible official to Exercishuset at Heden, Mjörnvallen, Kungsbacka Center or Kviberg Center no later than 90 minutes after the match is finished.

  • A protest fee of SEK 1500 will be paid at the same time. This fee will be returned if the protest is approved.

  • The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with the match are final (FIFA rule no.5). No measures will be taken on protests on decisions made by the referee.

13.2 Cautions and sending-off offences

  • Any player given a red card is automatically suspended from participation in the following match.

  • The tournament jury can decide about suspension for further matches in case of a direct red card.

  • Yellow cards are not accumulated.

  • Each team has the responsibility that a suspended player does not participate in a match/es where he or she is suspended.

  • Severe offences will be reported to the FA of the nation concerned.

  • If player receives a red card in our "Friendly-category", the team can replace the player without playing with reduced amount of players.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a player that is suspended participates in a match, the team with the suspended player automatically loses the match with 0-3.

§ 14. Walk over, abandoned match


Any team not appearing at the appointed time and place for a match can be declared loser by 0-3, after a decision by the jury. If a team repeatedly fail to appear at the matches, the team may be excluded from the tournament. In special cases, the tournament jury may decide to exclude a team at the first offence, i.e. if a deliberate WO favors the own team or is unfair to another team in the group.


If a match is interrupted for some reason and can’t be played to the end, the jury will decide if the match has to be replayed or decided by penalty shoot-out or restarted from the minute when it was interrupted, or if the result will be fixed or if one of the teams or both teams lose 0-3.

§ 15. Match pitches


All the playing pitches are grass or artificial turf.


The pitches are divided into the following areas: Centrum, Öster, Hisingen, Frölunda, Mölndal Kungsbacka and Alingsås.


In case of bad weather conditions, matches may be changed to gravel pitches or decided by penalty kicks or drawing of lots.

§ 16. Match schedule

The organization committee has the right to change the groups (until July 14th), times and pitches.

§ 17. Organizer

The Swedish football club BK Häcken organizes the Gothia Cup.

§ 18. Regulations for school accommodation

18.1 General

  • The team manager, as indicated on the participant list, is responsible for any damage caused by his or her players.

  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages is absolutely forbidden in the schools.

  • Silence is prescribed in each school between 23.00-06.00.

  • Before departure, you have to clean your classroom.

  • We urge all participants and leaders to never leave valuables or money unattended at the school.

18.2 To prevent fire

  • Smoking is prohibited in the schools.

  • It is forbidden to cook, make coffee or make other types of food in the classrooms and corridors.

  • It is forbidden to hang clothes or other combustible materials in the corridors.

  • It is forbidden to move desks and chairs etc. out of the classrooms into corridors or other public areas.

  • Please note that doors between the corridors and the stairs must be closed at all times.

Failure to comply with these rules will result in disciplinary actions and may result in exclusion from the tournament and accommodation.

§ 19. Insurance and responsibility


By registering to participate in Gothia Cup, the registrant (who is the team manager in charge or someone else tasked by the team manager in charge) verifies that the team manager in charge has been made aware of these stipulations and that the team manager in charge has the necessary authority and permission from the participants, the participants’ guardians and the registered association. Participation in the tournament is at the participants’ own risk and the team manager in charge is responsible for all participants whom the team manager has registered, which should be included in the list of participants.


The team manager in charge is obligated to ensure that all participants are insured on the pitch. Each participant is responsible for his or her personal insurance off the pitch. Participants from countries that have no medical insurance agreement with Sweden must have personal medical insurance. Neither Gothia Cup nor the organizer has collective insurance to cover injuries, illness, theft or damages.

Neither Gothia Cup nor the organizer is responsible for compensation and they are also not responsible for financial losses or damages that may occur due to events outside the control of Gothia Cup or the organizer, such as war-like events, fire, flood, interruptions in public transport connections, government actions, strike or other similar circumstances.