Following the Dutch Championships, European Championships, international tournaments and local Panna matches, the first Panna KO World Cup Finals took place in Paradiso, Amsterdam, and Laureus Netherlands was the official Charity Partner of this unique event.
Participants came from every corner of the world (Russia, Belgium, France, Italy, Denmark and Mexico) and traveled to Amsterdam to showcase their skills and to fight for the right to called Panna KO World Champion.
Many upsets were witnessed early on as Séan Garnier, one of the favourites to win the title, surprisingly did not make it to the final.
After very exciting early rounds, the final stages of the World Cup were played in the middle of Paradiso, the most famous venue of its kind in The Netherlands. An exhilarating final saw Illyas Nasri of Belgium triumph and lift the World Cup Trophy.
Mo Boutaka, the reigning European champion, who could not take part in the final due to an injury, was present with participants of the Laureus-supported PannAcademy project. PannAcademy uses the Panna as a sport to improve the lives of disadvantaged kids in Amsterdam. Boutaka gave the kids some tips on how to play football, but also spoke to them about the importance of self-confidence, doing well in school and having a healthy lifestyle.
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation uses sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, lack of education, landmines awareness and health problems such as obesity. Since its inception Laureus has raised over €60 million and currently supports more than 150 community sports projects in 34 countries.