The Hyndburn and Ribble Valley World cup was held at Accrington Academy on Wednesday 13th June 2018 and organised by Hyndburn and Ribble Valley School Sports Partnership.
The competition 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, with each country playing 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.
Reaching the final eight were 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).
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. Saudi Arabia (St Anne with St Josephs) won the penalty shoot out, 4 - 3.
Special thanks go to Lancashire PE Services and Accrington Stanley Community Trust for their support and to Accrington Academy students for officiating the matches.
Commented Accrington Academy’s Head of School Nicola Palmer: “We were delighted to be asked to host this local version of the World Cup. A big well done to all who took part and in particular, the winners, Saudi Arabia (St Anne with St Josephs).”