PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia kicks off its second annual International Unity Cup soccer tournament Friday evening.
Philadelphia is not only a city of neighborhoods, it is a melting pot of diverse nationalities and cultures. All that will be on display beginning this weekend at playgrounds throughout the city with the opening of the two month long Unity Cup tournament.
“It’s an international soccer tournament created to unite the immigrant communities within the city of Philadelphia,” said Parks and Rec’s Bill Salvatore.
Salvatore is the director of what will be an expanded tournament that will feature teams representing 48 nations, and one team made up exclusively of refugees.
“There’s Syrian, Iraqi, Irani, Afghani refugees all on the team. Cuban, I think, there’s nine different languages in total. The fact that they’re able to get it together from June 5 is just incredible,” he said.
The Unity Cup is one of Mayor Jim Kenney’s signature initiatives. All games are free and open to the public.
The tournament also features food from all over the world. On Sept. 23rd there will be a block party before Mexico plays Ireland at 13th and Bigler.
The tournament continues each weekend until the championship round on November 11th at Lincoln Financial Field, which will be broadcast live on KYW Newsradio 1060.
The opening weekend of the tournament features more than twenty games including: Ukraine vs. Brazil at Ramp Playground in the Holmesburg neighborhood and the Refugee Team vs. Italy at the South Philly Supersite.
The full schedule can be found at unitycup.phila.gov/schedule.