Tournament regulation

Tournament regulation

Tournament regulation

§ 1. Rules

The Gothia Cup Cancún will be played in accordance with applicable sections of the FIFA rules. When subject to interpretation of FIFA rules or regulations, the English text applies.

§ 2. Competition rules

2.1 Participating teams must belong to a club or academy that is a registered with its national FIFA affiliated association. School teams from countries where school teams can participate in the official football competitions of the national football association and are registered with the national school association are also allowed to participate. All players must be registered with the club they are playing for.

2.2 The teams are divided into groups of four or five where all teams will meet in a round robin series. The order among the teams will be decided according to points. 3 points will be awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss.

If two or more teams have the same number of points, the order will be decided as follows:

  1. Goal difference

  2. Highest number of goals scored

  3. Results in the match(es) between teams with equal points (head to head)

  4. Penalty shoot-out according to the FIFA rules

2.3 Play off

The two best teams in each group will advance to playoff A. The other teams in the group will advance to playoff B. All playoff matches will be decided by the cup system, i.e. by direct elimination. A draw in the playoff will be decided by penalty kicks according to the FIFA rules.

§ 3. Age categories 2024 (December)

B17 - Boys born 1/1-2007 or later (11-a-side)
B15 - Boys born 1/1-2009 or later (11-a-side)
B14 - Boys born 1/1-2010 or later (11-a-side)
B13 - Boys born 1/1-2011 or later (11-a-side)
B12 - Boys born 1/1-2012 or later (9-a-side)
B11 - Boys born 1/1-2013 or later (7-a-side)
B10 - Boys born 1/1-2014 or later (7-a-side)

G17 - Girls born 1/1-2007 or later (11-a-side)
G15 - Girls born 1/1-2009 or later (11-a-side)

We reserve the right to merge classes if there are not enough teams registered.

§ 4. Playing period

Age category

Group Stage and play-off B

Play-off A

B18, B16, G16

2×25 min

2×30 min


2×25 min

2×25 min

§ 5. Number of players and substitution

5.1 There is no limit to the number of players in each team. However only seven (7) substitutes are allowed in each match of 11-a-side and 9-a-side. Teams may use a maximum of 18 players in a 11-a-side match, eleven players on the pitch and seven substitutes, and a maximum of 16 players in a 9-a-side match, nine players on the pitch and seven substitutes. A substituted player may reenter in the match. Substitutions can be done without stopping the match. Notice that the match has to be stopped and the referee has to be informed at the substitution of a goalkeeper. All substitutions should be done within the technical area of the team. If there is no technical area the substitution should be made at the centre line. The player that will be substituted has to leave the pitch before the new player can enter the pitch. Incorrect substitutions will be punished with a yellow card.

5.2 It is permitted to use a player from the same club in several teams but not in the same age category. This player has to be on the participant list of all teams he/she will play for. The player must also be present during the age control for each team the player plays for. There is no maximum number of players on the participant list.

5.3 In categories B11 and B12 it is allowed to have an unlimited number of players during a single match, but only seven can be on the playing pitch simultaneously.

§ 6. Proof of age and participant list

Each team must submit a list of players to the Gothia Cup Cancún administration before their first match in the tournament. All players MUST be able to identify themselves and to certify their age with a valid passport. Please note that a copy of the passport or ID document is not accepted.

All teams have to complete the participant list digitally at the team page. The team page can be found on the Gothia Account page of the registered leader. The list of participants must be printed and be brought as a physical copy to the age control.

The age control must be done at the playing fields no later than Sunday, December 15th, at 12:00 (noon).

Each player on the list must be present and be able to show proof of identity.

Single players can join after the age control on the condition that they are on the original participant list. They must show proof of identity at the information centre at one of the Gothia Cup hotels before playing their first match. Teams using non-eligible players can be excluded from the tournament.

Note that the responsible team leader (written on the participant list) must attend all the players’ age verifications.

Injured player(s) may be replaced on the list of participants if there is a medical certificate and the number of players on the participant list is less than 14 in 11-a-side, 12 in 9-a-side, and less than 10 in 7-a-side after the exclusion of the injured player.

§ 7. Dispensations

7.1 11-a-side

In the 11-a-side categories, two (2) dispensations are by default given for overaged players, who can be at most one year over the age limit. Note that it’s not allowed to have more than two overaged players in the roster, who change places in the squad for each match.

7.2 9-a-side

In 9-a-side, one (1) dispensation is by default given for one overaged player, who can be at most one year over the age limit. Note that it’s not allowed to have more than one overaged player in the roster, who change places in the squad for each match.

7.3 7-a-side

In the 7-a-side categories, one (1) dispensation is by default given for overaged players, who can be at most one year over the age limit. Note that it’s not allowed to have more than one overaged player in the roster, who change places in the squad for each match.

7.4 Girls may play in boys' classes if the regulations for age categories are followed.

§ 8. Match information

8.1 Team list

  • A written team list (this list can be filled out and downloaded/printed from Gothia Account) must be handed over to the referee before every match.

  • The number each player has on the team list must be the same as the number of the shirt.

  • All players on the team list are considered as if they have participated in the match.

  • Random controls of team list and participant lists will be carried out.

  • All team officials (maximum 6) have to be indicated with their names on the team list. Only these officials are allowed to be in the technical area. If there are no markings for the technical area it is considered to be an area of 8 meters along the side line where the substitutes are located.

8.2 Player uniforms

  • All team shirts must be numbered, and the numbers must correspond to the numbers on the team list. Numbers must be on the back of the shirts. Two players may not use the same number in any given match.

  • If the referee decides that one team should change shirts due to similarity to the opposing team’s shirts, the team appearing last in the match schedule has to change.

8.3 Before, during and after the game

  • All teams should be ready at the pitch no later than 15 minutes before kick-off.

  • The team manager must make sure that his/her players are adequately insured.

  • All players MUST wear shinguards.

  • The teams are responsible for their supporters’ conduct. Bad supporters’ behaviour or conduct can result in team’s exclusion from the tournament.

  • The responsible team official (coach) must immediately after the match sign the referee’s match card in order to confirm the match result, red cards and other events during the match. Failure to sign may result in a notification to the Gothia Cup Cancún competition jury.

8.4 Balls

Classes B11 and B12 play with balls of size 4. All other matches are played using balls of size 5.

§ 9. 7-a-side

Classes B11 and B12 play 7-a-side (one goalkeeper and six players). The offside rule is not applicable. Goal kick can be done from the ground or from the hands of the goalkeeper. He/she can also throw the ball. Sending-off at obvious goal-scoring opportunity is not valid. When passing the ball to the own goalkeeper he/she is NOT allowed to pick up the ball with the hands. Retreat line is not applicable. The goals are 2x6 meters.

§ 10. Referees

The referees are authorized by their national FA. There will be assistant referees in all 11-a-side games.

§ 11. Tournament jury

The jury handles protests and sanction matters. The decisions of the jury cannot be appealed.

§ 12. Protests and sanctions

12.1 Any and all protests must be made in writing and delivered by a responsible official to the information centre at one of the Gothia Cup hotels or the information centre at El Ray or Veteranos (football venue) no later than 90 minutes after the match is finished.

  • A protest fee of 150 USD will be paid at the same time. This fee will be returned if the protest is approved.

  • The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with the match are final. (FIFA rule no. 5). No measures will be taken on protests on decisions made by the referee.

12.2 Cautions and sending-off offences

  • Any player given a red card is automatically suspended from participating in the following match.

  • The tournament jury can decide about suspension for further matches in case of a direct red card.

  • Yellow cards are not accumulated.

  • Each team has the responsibility that a suspended player does not participate in a match (or matches) where he/she is suspended.

  • Severe offences will be reported to the FA of the nation concerned.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a player that is suspended participates in a match, the team with the suspended player automatically loses the match with 0-3.

§ 13. Walk over, abandoned match

13.1 Any team not appearing at the appointed time and place for a match can be declared loser by 0-3, after a decision by the jury. If a team repeatedly fail to appear at the matches, the team may be excluded from the tournament. In special cases, the tournament jury may decide to exclude a team at the first offence, i.e. if a deliberate WO favors the own team or is unfair to another team in the group.

13.2 If a match is interrupted for some reason and can’t be played to the end, the jury will decide if the match has to be replayed or decided by penalty shoot-out or restarted from the minute when it was interrupted, or if the result will be fixed or if one of the teams or both teams lose 0-3.

§ 14. Match pitches

14.1 All the playing pitches are grass or artificial turf.

14.2 In case of bad weather conditions, matches may be changed to another pitch or decided by penalty kicks or drawing of lots.

§ 15. Match schedule

The organization committee has the right to change the groups (until December 15th), times and pitches.

§ 16. Insurance and responsibility

16.1 By registering to participate in Gothia Cup Cancun, the registrant (who is the team manager in charge or someone else tasked by the team manager in charge) verifies that the team manager in charge has been made aware of these stipulations and that the team manager in charge has the necessary authority and permission from the participants, the participants’ guardians and the registered association. Participation in the tournament is at the participants’ own risk and the team manager in charge is responsible for all participants whom the team manager has registered, which should be included in the list of participants.

16.2 The team manager in charge is obligated to ensure that all participants are insured on the pitch. Each participant is responsible for his/her personal insurance off the pitch. Participants from countries that have no medical insurance agreement with Mexico must have personal medical insurance. Neither Gothia Cup Cancun nor the organizer has collective insurance to cover injuries, illness, theft or damages.

Neither Gothia Cup Cancun nor the organizer is responsible for compensation and they are also not responsible for financial losses or damages that may occur due to events outside the control of Gothia Cup Cancun or the organizer, such as war-like events, pandemic, fire, flood, interruptions in public transport connections, government actions, strike or other similar circumstances.



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