37th SOCCER TOURNAMENT HQ JFC               2017 - REPORT

Four tournaments for a good cause, many goals, great atmosphere, Walter Eschweiler and an abandoned game

On 24th and 25th August 2017, the international small-pitch soccer tournament was held on the NATO sports fields of the Joint Forces Headquarters of NATO in Brunssum (JFCBS) for the 37th time. In the year of the 50th anniversary of NATO troops in Brunssum, over 50 football teams with more than 500 players from more than twenty nations took part in the two-day event to set the ball rolling for a good cause.
The proceeds of the event were donated to Basissport Limburg, Kerkrade working group, an organization that organizes and carries out sports activities for severely disabled people.
With good external conditions, four tournaments were held on six small pitches.
The framework programme was also arranged with DJ Master Sergeant Carsten Wandelt and the live band "Die Stube Buben" generating perfect party atmosphere.

In his opening speech, the JFCBS Commander, General Salvatore FARINA (ITA), emphasized the strength and fascination of soccer, which offers a home for all and does not distinguish between cultures, religions or languages. Rather, soccer interacts, develops team spirit, tolerance, mutual respect, fairness as well as the concentration on a common goal and thus evolves values essential in times like these, also beyond the pitch. At the end, he called for an exciting and fair tournament and wished all participants a lot of fun and pleasure.

in the first tournament, teams from the headquarters and other NATO institutions as well as authorities from the Brunssum region played for the "Delegations’ Cup". After exciting preliminary round games in four groups, the teams of the German UN Training Centre, the HQ Company of 41th DEU Infantry Brigade, the JFCBS Joint Operation Centre (JOC) and the Limburg Police (Netherlands) managed to qualify for the semi-finals, which left the Limburg Police and Infantry as the winning teams going for the cup.
The "small final" was won by the JOC in the match against the German UN Training Centre. 

There was an éclat in the final. Under the direction of Mr. Walter Eschweiler, the most famous German referee, the game, which had been marked by mutual provocations from the beginning, was interrupted after an assault and at the request of the Limburg Police team. The tournament management decided to take the game out of the competition, which led to the JOC team being declared the winner of the Delegations' Cup. The fact that winners can also play fair was emphasized by the JOC, since the fairness trophy was also handed over to the team.

On the same day, the "Ladies’ Cup" took place. After the welcome address by the Head of the German Delegation, Colonel Klaus W. BÜCKLEIN, the Brunssum Allstars and the Ladysnipers from Erfurt (DEU) were able to shoot for the final after a fantastic performance in the play-offs. The Allstars won by 3:1 and defended the title. Third was the team from BA Pers Bundeswehr (Personnel management of the German Armed Forces), who won the match against the team from Langeberg (Netherlands). The fairness trophy went to SV Langeberg.

Between the two finals, the special match between the NATO headquarters and the municipality of Brunssum took place for the second time this year. After the Brunssum community had won by 2:0 earlier this year in June, this time, the HQ soldiers won the match by 3:2. Next year, a new edition of the match will take place within the course of the tournament.

After all the winners of the day had been rewarded, DJ Casten Wandelt and, as a live act, "Die Stube Buben" got the participants and visitors rocking at the "Welcome Party". With classics and party music, the one or other victory could be celebrated until the early morning.

On Friday, after a strong breakfast, the time had come to determine the winners of the "Oldies’ Cup" and "Youngsters’ Cup".
In the preliminary round of the Youngsters’ Cup, it became obvious already that the teams from the Helmut Schmidt University, German Armed Forces, Hamburg (HSU/UniBwH), the Tactical Air Force Squad 51 "Immelmann" from Kropp/Jagel (DEU) and the Logistics Battalion 172, Beelitz (DEU), would play a decisive role within the further course of the tournament.

At the end, those teams along with the team of 1st Coy / DEU Military Police Regiment 2, Hilden (DEU), qualified for the round of the remaining four. In exciting and competitive but very fair games with many, sometimes high-profile goal chances, the teams from Hamburg and Jagel went through. In the game for third place, the Logistics Battalion won against the Military Police by 2:1; and in the final, the team of the HSU/UniBwH beat the "Immelmen" by 2:0 and thus secured the tournament win.

At the same time, the Oldies’ Cup was played in four groups to enter the round of 16. In the preliminary round, no team could claim the title.
The balance of the Oldies’ teams continued in the intermediate round and in the finals. At the end of two action-packed games with high-class duels and many goal scores, the winners of both finals had to be identified by means of a 9-meters penalty shootout. In the small final, the players of the Uni Bw H / Land Command Hamburg won by 7: 6 against BA Pers from Cologne and took another trophy to the Free and Hanseatic City. In the final, the 1st DEU / NLD Corps from Münster had the happier end to itself and won by 5:4 against the team from Augustdorf (DEU).


In all tournaments, the best goalkeepers and the most successful scorers were acknowledged with awards. Particularly noteworthy is the performance of Felix Bollow (StKp PzGrenBrig 41), who scored the most goals in both tournaments, the Delegations' and the Youngsters' Cup. The BA Pers kickers proved to be very hungry for goals, too, with Carina Heidrich and Marco Köpp winning the trophies within the Ladies' and Oldies’ Cup.

All in all, the organizers drew a positive balance.

The dates for next year’s International Small-Pitch Soccer Tournament are already identified and fixed. The Delegations' and Ladies' Cup will be played on 23th August followed by the tournaments for Oldies and Youngsters on 24th August. A colourful supporting programme will also be provided. Participation in the tournament is open to all interested teams.
Further information can be found at www.gnt-brunssum.de, where the tournament pictures have been uploaded as well. 




Delegations‘ Cup
1. JOC Brunssum
2. Deutschen UN Training Center


Ladies‘ Cup
1. Brunssum Allstars
2. Ladysnipers Erfurt
3. BA PersBw


Youngsters‘ Cup

1. HSU/UniBwH, 
2. TaktLwG 51 „Immelmann“
3. Logistikbataillon 172

Oldies‘ Cup

1. DEU/NLD Corps 
2. Standortmannschaft aus Augustdorf.
3. Uni Bw H/Landeskommando Hamburg

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