Mascot is the name given to such children. Children have worked alongside soccer players since at least the 1990s, either as a mascot for each team or as a mascot for each individual player.
The UEFA Euro 2000 was one of the first big sporting tournaments to feature player escorts with each and every footballer.
Who are these kids?
Kids are often members of children clubs or contest winners in membership games. Since 2002, escorts for the World Cup or European Championship have been chosen via a competition held by McDonald’s, the event’s sponsor.
What are the justifications?
Families are well-represented as spectators in the majority of European leagues nowadays. This used to be the case all of the time. Prior to the 1980s, practically all soccer fans who went to stadiums to watch games were men.
Throughout Europe, violence and racial shouts were common in certain countries. In memory, and with our inclusive ways of thinking, some people who called themselves fans used to be quite disgusting.
However, as time has passed, things have improved, and initiatives such as allowing adolescents to walk out with the players have contributed to making soccer a lot better place to be. There are a variety of reasons why players bring their children to the game.
These include promoting children’s rights campaigns, providing the element of innocence to the game, entertaining children’s fantasies, or profiting from it (some parents pay golf equipment so that their youngsters can accompany gamers they appear up to).
Another reason is to keep the players safe. When there are young people nearby, fans are less likely to throw things at the players.
Exclusive escorts may be available on occasion. On Mother’s Day, Ajax Amsterdam players walked out with their mothers. So Paulo FC players took to the field with dogs to raise awareness of the stray dog problem.
It’s a show of goodwill (local kids frequently wear the visiting team’s jersey) and commitment to the development of children. For the association enabling this request, it usually implies a bulk discount in ticket cost.