The Hyndburn and Ribble Valley World cup followed the same format as the FIFA world cup with 32 different countries (schools) taking part, each adorning the kit of their chosen county and carrying the flag of their country.
The format involved 8 groups of 4 teams and each country played all of the other countries in their group. After the group stages the top two teams from each group qualified for the final 16 and reached the knockout stages.
The competition become very tense at this point with every team playing their hardest. In the end it was Uruguay (St Leonards) , Saudi Arabia (St Anne and St Josephs), Argentina (St Peter and St Pauls) , Croatia (St Marys Langho) , Switzerland (St Wulstans), Sweden (St Bartholemews), Belgium (St Nicholas) and Poland (Mount Pleasant) who reached the final 8
The quarter finals involved Saudi Arabia playing Belgium and Switzerland playing Croatia which Saudia Arabia and Switzerland both won on penalties. The third place play off was won 4 – 0 by Croatia and the final was an extremely close game with Switzerland scoring in the last minute to equalise. The lead to the dreaded penalties with Saudi Arabia (St Anne with St Josephs) winning 4 – 3.
Special thanks must go to Lancashire PE Services for helping us find 16 Samba goals and to Accrington Stanley Community Trust and Accrington Academy students for officiating the matches.