Andy Carroll, Jonathan Calleri and Raphael Spiegel launch the 2016 Lycamobile Cup
Lycamobile, the world’s largest international mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), in association with the West Ham United Foundation, has today launched the 2016 Lycamobile Cup. The opening tournament – the first of four qualifying rounds - takes place at West Ham’s community hub in Beckton this afternoon and will be attended by West Ham United players Andy Carroll, Jonathan Calleri and Raphael Spiegel.
The Lycamobile Cup is a youth football tournament that involves 84 teams from local secondary schools and community centres competing in a series of competitions over the course of the season. The Cup is split across two categories – under 12 (year 7) and under 14 (year 9).
West Ham United striker Jonathan Calleri, participating in the launch day, said of the initiative: “We’re really looking forward to taking part in the Lycamobile Cup, engaging with the teams and watching the games as they unfold. It is great to be able to see and support such initiatives taking place in our community.”
The tournament will culminate in an exclusive finals day for the players and their families in April 2017, where finalists will enjoy the opportunity of a lifetime to play in West Ham’s impressive new ground in Stratford, London Stadium.
Allirajah Subaskaran, Group Chairman of Lycamobile, commented: "It is such an honour to launch the 2016 Lycamobile Cup and be joined by all these young, talented footballers. The Lycamobile Cup is a reminder to us all of how important it is to inspire young people and bring communities together.”
Now in its fourth year, the tournament has seen a dramatic rise in participation since its inaugural year in 2013/14, with upward of 3,500 participants last season.
West Ham United Foundation Chief Executive, Joseph Lyons, said: “The 2016 Lycamobile Cup is testament to both the success of our partnership with Lycamobile and our commitment to help the next generation of talented footballers reach their goals.”
Last year (2015/16), West Ham Kicks, a community group from Newham, and Skinners Academy from Hackney, won the under 12 and under 14 categories, respectively. The Star Players of the tournament were Rudhar Salah from Kingsford Community School (U12) and Daniils Baklanovs of Heathcote School (U14).