Gothia Cup China

Gothia Cup China

Gothia Cup

Gothia Cup - Qingdao, China

  • Holiday Category
  • August 2022 - August 2022
  • U9-U25
  • Hotel
  • £/€80
  • Registration Is Open
  • 70/70 Available Places
  • Deadline Date: June 2022

Detailed Information

Gothia Cup China is China’s and Asia’s biggest youth football tournament. It takes place every year in the northern city of Qingdao, which is also known as the Chinese “capital of football” thanks to its amazing facilities and tradition.

The tournament will see its 5th edition played in 2022 and attracts every year players from around 30 different countries in the world, for a total of around 350 teams taking part yearly.

The opening ceremony takes part in the stunning Qingdao Agricoltural University, with the other games being played in the brand new “Gothia Park”, a sports complex of 20 artificial and natural grass fields, built specifically for the event alongside Qingdao’s main river.

Referee Abroad will be working with the tournament for the 3rd time in 2022 continuing its effort to increase the number of international referees participating in this great tournament.

What are you waiting for? come and referee in China!

Referee Abroad will be responsible for the management of the entire international referees group. The tournament requires every year the participation of around 100 referees. In 2019 83 international referees from 21 different nations took part.

All participating referees will receive free accommodation in a local 3 stars hotel, from one day before the start of the tournament will the day after the finals. They will also receive full board, which means free breakfast, lunch and dinner, all taking place in their hotel. Local transportation to/from the fields will also be provided. Each confirmed referee will receive an official invitation and statement of participation as well as a small monetary compensation which will be divided between the group (will be around 150 euros).

Referee Abroad’s President Daniele Curcio will be the International Referees Coordinator for the tournament.

See the tab “accommodation” for more details about the hotel being used.

Please notice you should be 18 or older to take part to this tournament. If under the age of 18, you shall be accompanied by a guardian.

The Gothia Cup China is a development tournament which aims at supporting up-and-coming referees from all around the world in becoming better match officials. In order to do so we welcome to the tournaments referee observers (assessors) interested in aiding these match officials offering them feedback.

Every year we require around ten referee observers, as an observer you’ll be entitled to the same treatment as the referees which includes:

– Free accommodation from the day before the tournament starts, to the day after the finals. 

– Free breakfast, lunch and dinner starting with dinner on the day of arrival, finishing with breakfast on the day of departure. 

– Free transport from the hotel to the fields and viceversa. Airports transfers are also reinbursed. 

All referees, observers and staff are accommodated at a local 3 stars hotel in Qingdao called “Gtlel Qingdao”.

The hotel is very modern and clean, and has all sorts of services on site, from free hot drinks any time during the day, to a free laundry, gym and games room. Free accommodation is based on twin rooms.

All meals will also take place at the hotel (breakfast, lunch and dinner). An all-you-can-eat Asian-style buffet (with limited Western options) is available daily, three times a day. The hotel will also host all meetings for the referees and observers, and a free shuttle will run at regular intervals to/from the pitches from in front of the hotel entrance.

Qingdao is known as China’s football capital, owing this title to the high number of people, especially kids, playing the sport.

It is regarded by some Chinese as one of the most beautiful and clean cities in China. It has a population of around 3.5 million (8 million regional) and is the largest city in Shandong Province. The name Qingdao means The Blue/Green Island. In 2012, Qingdao was named China’s most livable city.

Qingdao is also a city rich in history. It was taken as part of the Imperial German Concession of Jiaozhou Bay. During the colonial period, the Germans left a distinct mark on Qingdao’s architecture that can still be seen in its historic center and train station.

While Qingdao has a long history, the eastern half of the city has been built since 1993, and there is no sign of it slowing down. In 2008, it hosted the sailing events of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Qingdao does not have swarming markets, unpredictable traffic and intense street commerce. The city is relatively clean and orderly and might give the impression of an upcoming wanna-be Singapore.

Qingdao International Airport (TAO) is the closest point of entry for the city of Qingdao. While the airport is quite big, most air traffic is domestic, and only a limited number of international flights are available. From Europe the only airline that flies direct into Qingdao is Lufthansa, which operates a daily flight from Frankfurt. If you fly with any other airline, you’ll most likely need to transfer to a domestic flight in China.

An easier and cheaper option to arrive to the tournament would be to fly into one of China’s main airports, with Beijing Capital airport being the preferred choice, and then catch an high-speed train from Beijing to Qingdao, which takes around 4h30. This would also allow you to “break” the trip and visit Beijing, a must-visit destination for all travellers to China.

The Gothia Cup China was an highlight of my refereeing career, a mixture of new lifelong friends, good football and some fun on the side made my week really unforgettable. 

Nicholas Trajcevski


The Gothia Cup China was a well arranged tournament. A great experience and a great oppunity for referees to develop and become better officials for the future. I will surely attend more tournaments in the future. 

Robin Petitjean


Travelling to China to referee international teams was an amazing experience. However none will beat the incredible friendships I formed with referees from different countries. 

Gili Inbar


Apply for the Gothia Cup China