On April 16, just after a month, the grand series of street football tournaments "Ghetto Football Euro League 2022" will start in Rome. That's why let's take a closer look at the main leader of this project (Antons Semeņaks) and find out how ready the Ghetto Football team is to conquer Europe!
"Ghetto Football Euro League 2022" will take place in eleven countries - Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania and will end with the most important event, the final, in the capital of Latvia - Riga - with eleven emotional street football tournaments 3x3, with thousands of talented street footballers and a total prize pool of 10,000 EUR. Anyone can take part and compete for the title of best European street football team. In addition to 3 on 3 tournaments, there will be unique international "Panna 1v1" and "Freestyle Football" tournaments.
It is no secret that the goal to go outside Latvia with Ghetto Football has been around for some time.
How did you manage to stay motivated when you had to postpone last year's plans?
"This event had to be postponed three times. We want to fulfill both our dreams and ambitions about what we can do, share this idea with our partners and give young people from all over Europe such an experience.
The main motivation for this project is that there are so many different spectacular street footballers in Europe and they have to experience something like this.
It is worth mentioning that to us as organizers experience wise, those two years, no matter how strange it may seem, have given the project even more than we have lost. ”
How will this tournament differ from the Ghetto Football summer tournaments?
"First of all, the structure and system of the tournament will be different. Secondly, it will take place abroad and it is cooperation with partners who are waiting for us on the other end. Each tournament will take place in a different country, in a different culture. If within Latvia people recognize and know what Ghetto Games are, then in other countries they are separate players who follow us and know us. In this project, we strive to make the events as good or better as we organize in Latvia. I think we will have a lot of new revelations after this experience. ”
What does it mean to organize a European level of competition?
"It is a great responsibility to our brand, to our country and to our partners who believe that we are professionals in our field. We will also have to prove that we can do something great that exceeds the expectations of us, the players and our partners. I believe that the product we offer is very interesting. One of the reasons why such measures are not widely developed in Europe is that they require a great deal of technical involvement and are therefore very expensive. No one wants to take such risks. ”
What should everyone know about Ghetto Football EuroLeague?
"It's a stylish and fun way to play football. The games are not on one, but on five courts. There is a good atmosphere, it is an event - an adventure. Anyone can participate and get involved. It should be noted that this is not a one-year project. This will be one of the biggest, if not the
biggest, street football events in European history. ”
What do you expect from this adventure? Do you have any expectations about the upcoming?
"I think that the local players will really like this tournament and this kind of event. I expect that our partners will be able to fulfill all the promises and tasks, and accordingly we will treat them the same way. I am also preparing for something unpredictable - a surprise, something positive that we hadn’t taken into account.
Of course, there will be things that will not be so happy, but we will try to deal with them in the best possible way. Mainly I want to gain information and experience for myself and the whole Ghetto Football team. I would like to understand whether such tournaments, which we have created in Latvia, are viable in another country. Otherwise, I expect a successful street football tournament, where young people will have the opportunity to express themselves.
The next step, which is extremely important for us, is that our partners or other street footballers are inspired by us and want to develop similar championships as we organize in our own country – Latvia. The strength of Ghetto Football is regularity - every Wednesday, every week, I want other countries to share this experience. ”
Why should people go, participate or watch competitions?
"It is something unique. Games take place on several courts and without referees. There are observers but no judges. Viewers should go because there will be a lot of surprises on the show and especially after
the pandemic, when many organizations were down during this time.
This will be the place to discharge your positive energy. This is an event where before condemning and talking about something, you have to try it yourself and only after that you can comment.”
Ghetto Football EuroLeague cherry on the cake will be Panna 1v1 and freestyle competitions. Tell me more about this!
"Ghetto Football is based on street football - 3 against 3. An engaging and relatively simple sport, virtually anyone can play it, no matter what level. Panna 1v1, on the other hand, has evolved from street football, the main task being to throw the ball between opponents legs. In Europe, this type of football is extremely popular, especially in Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, and its popularity is growing every year.
We have decided that in each country where we will play, everyone who will participate in "Panna 1v1" will have a chance to win a trip to Ventspils, to GGFEST from July 22-24.
Football freestyle is a very specific type of football. These are ball tricks, it is the most difficult type of street football of all. Athletes have been preparing for this competition for a very long time. You will be able to apply either on the spot or before. The events of the freestyle competition will also be a show and an admirable event for the spectators. The winners, as well as in the "Panna 1v1" competition, will receive a ticket to GGFEST in Ventspils. "
What to expect from the final tournament of Ghetto Football EuroLeague in Riga on June 8?
Teams from 11 European countries, including teams from Latvia, will take part in the final. Maybe even more, because the tournament system allows teams from other countries to participate. The best street football players from all over Europe will meet in Riga, not only internet heroes who show tricks while filming videos, but really real street football on the field.
The event will be an opportunity to see a real and genuine desire to play and look at the people who do what they like best. At least 2 teams from Latvia will also participate. Of course, the audience will have a show, entertainment and an unprecedented event in Riga, Latvia, I would say also in Europe and the world.
For more information on Euroleague tournaments, see: