Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney held a press conference at City Hall on Friday to announce the second edition of the World Cup-style tournament the city will again be staging this fall.
“In Philadelphia, we know that our strength is in our diversity and right now it’s more important than ever to show the rest of the country how we live and work together and celebrate our differences,” Kenney said at the press conference. “The Philadelphia International Unity Cup is a fun and vibrant way to do that.”
The tournament, which was won in November by a team representing the Ivory Coast at the first soccer game ever played at Citizens Bank Park, will kick off on September 8 and again feature amateur adult teams representing countries from around the globe. The final will be staged on Saturday, November 4.
While the first edition of the tournament featured 32 teams representing 32 nations, Kenney said there will be no limit (beyond one team per country) on the number of teams this year. About 2,000 people were on hand to see Ivory Coast beat Liberia 1-0 in the final in November.
The deadline for teams to register for this year’s edition will be May 19.
Information sessions will be held beginning next month on February 8 at the Municipal Services Building on JFK Boulevard. Sessions will also be held on February 23 at the Murphy Recreation Center, March 9 at the Municipal Services Building, March 23 at the Carousel House and April 6 at Ramp Playground.
The Philadelphia International Unity Cup is a cooperative effort between the City of Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. Sponsors for the first year included the Philadelphia Union, Goya, the Philadelphia Phillies, PECO, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia.
For more information on the the event, visit unitycup.phila.gov.