On April 15 in Kyiv at Bannikov stadium the qualifying tournament of the Million for a Stadium project kicked off. Teams which make it to the final round will play for UAH 1 million to build a football stadium in their home town.
This project was conceived as an incentive to educate a strong and healthy generation. Therefore, the competition allowed children from large and poor families, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and children whose parents died during the Anti-terrorist Operation (ATO) in eastern Ukraine to take part.
“Boys should be able to win and fight. This is what makes them men. Our task is to make these guys, real men, defenders. Every such day will make us stronger. This also applies to those children who, from an early age, got into trouble with the law. Juvenile justice is represented here. After all, sport is part of the educational process. We must take the children out of the street and teach them to live a healthy lifestyle. We are educating them and instilling in them the desire to be strong, to become protectors. It is very important to pay enough attention to sports education, because sport teaches discipline,” Ilya Kyva, President of the All-Ukrainian National Federation of Backyard Football, said.
He also noted that on August 23, on the National Flag Day of Ukraine, the all-Ukrainian tournament Million for a Stadium will begin.
“The winners will receive a UAH 1 million to build a stadium in their city. Each willing team will be able to take part,” Kyva said.
“In each backyard there is a team that plays every day and supports each other. But not every yard has such a field. We – adults, representatives of the authorities, are obliged to do everything necessary for unity, and we are united by the love of sport,” Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Mykola Danevych said.
Organizers of the tournament are the Football Federation of Ukraine, the All-Ukrainian Federation of domestic football, and the Development of Football of Ukraine charity fund. The event was held with the assistance of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ukraine’s National Police.
Teams with young men (ages 11-15) competed, included Kyiv-based squads Darnitsa, Fakel, Kaskad and Iunor. The winning team of the first qualifying tournament from Poltava Molod also played a friendly match.
Athletes of all participating teams were awarded memorable diplomas, T-shirts, footballs. And the winners were awarded cups and medals.
The results of the tournament:
Iunor – Fourth place
Darnitsa – Third place
Fakel – Second place
Kaskad – First place
“I think, thanks to these competitions, our country will develop football talent. We and Ilya have seen players in these competitions make their way and play in the national junior teams of the country,” Vadym Kostiuchenko, First Vice-president of the Football Federation of Ukraine, said.
All the expenses related to the organization of football competitions were borne by the Football Federation of Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian National Federation of Backyard Football.