You are here

The Sama-Sama Cup: Promoting unity and providing opportunities through football


The Sama-Sama Cup: Promoting unity and providing opportunities through football

The Sama-Sama Cup aims to promote and defend social equality through football in the Philippines, and the second annual tournament took place on Boracay beach in December 2012. Here, sportanddev talks to founding partner Marko Kasic about the tournament and its impact.

sportanddev: How does the tournament ensure that social objectives are met?

Marko Kasic:

‘Sama-Sama’ is Tagalog (Philippine) for 'together' and the event aims to unite through football. We have mixed teams of tourists and locals to emphasise equality, regardless of social class, wealth or nationality. The tournament is formatted so every team, regardless of ability, plays the same number of games- lower ranked teams from the group stages move into the ‘Barkada Shield.’

This year, 3 teams travelled from Manila- including a team from Tondo, one of the most underprivileged communities in the city’s metropolitan area, which we sponsored to travel, stay and play at the event. Through football and equality on the pitch, we empower people to have higher aspirations and reach for equality in employment and education.

sportanddev: The Sama-Sama Cup’s official football development partner is Futkal. What does this involve?

Futkal uses football as a tool for breaking the poverty cycle by delivering programmes that promote discipline, respect, hard-work and unity- essential values on the pitch, and in life. They do this amazingly well through their 3-4 year 'Futkalero' programme which uses football to provide children with an education. Completion of the programme gives kids purpose, self-esteem and a real sense of achievement.

Last year, some of cash generated through local sponsors was used to help set up a Boracay chapter of Futkal. As the event grows, we want to have football development partners in each country we have participants from - their role is to select participants who would benefit most from the SSC experience.

sportanddev: How did this year’s tournament compare to last year’s?

The first event was funded by myself, my event partner Gene De la Cruz and a few local supporters. All teams were from Boracay. This year, we were supported by Gazasia, an organic waste to biofuel company and had national TV coverage.

Commercially, we attracted support from Mitre, Shangri-la, Havaianas, Starbucks and several new local sponsors. Being able to sponsor Tondo FC was a massive step because a fundamental goal is to provide a platform for less privileged but ambitious and motivated young adults to take part.

sportanddev: What does the future hold for the Sama-Sama Cup? Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline?

The future is very bright! We're planning to hold an 'SS Summer' and 'SS Street' event before holding the 3rd Sama-Sama Cup in January/February 2014. We hope to gain enough support to invite 8 community teams from across the ASEAN region and we want to provide an online peer mentor network, so players can develop relationships they establish at the event.

Moreover, we want to provide real commercial and CSR value to corporations who believe in what we’re doing. Our long-term aim is very bold, but we believe we can, in 3 years, make the SSC the world's biggest socially inclusive football event to provide new opportunities for some of the world's least privileged people.


Article type



Paul Hunt


Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 23:00