Philly to host immigrant soccer tournament

Alex Lloyd Gross -Photo- Delaware Valley David Zhou a goaltender and striker is having fun at the press announcement at city hall this week.

Mayor Jim Kenney, Kathryn Ott Lovell, Parks & Recreation Commissioner, Miriam Enriquez, Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, officials from the Philadelphia Union and representatives from various immigrant communities announced the first annual Philadelphia International Unity Cup (PIUC), a city-wide soccer tournament that will use the universal language of sport to bring people together and showcase Philadelphia’s rich cultural diversity. An announcement was held outside city hall last week.

“I’m excited to host an event that both highlights our city’s diversity and also helps bring Philadelphians together,” said Mayor Kenney. “I’m grateful for the Department of Parks and Rec, as well as the Office of Immigrant Affairs, for their hard work and I encourage all Philadelphians to participate.”

The PIUC will be organized in the style of the FIFA World Cup with 32 teams (each representing a different nation) competing in pool play games across the city in September, followed by a knockout series in October to determine the top two teams that will play in the championship game at Citizens Bank Park in November. Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is organizing the logistics of the tournament and the Office of Immigrant Affairs is leading outreach to the city’s immigrant communities.

“Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is proud to play a role in realizing Mayor Kenney’s vision for a city-wide soccer tournament to bring people together,” said Commissioner Ott Lovell. “We are currently seeking sponsors to help us produce this great event – if you are interested, please contact the Department of Parks & Recreation. In our City, a city built by immigrants, we are honored to bring you the first ever Philadelphia International Unity Cup.”

Miriam Enriquez, Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, said, “Our office has been doing outreach to our City’s many immigrant communities to inform them of the tournament. We have hosted three information sessions thus far and I am happy to report the outpouring of interest and excitement that we have received thus far. This tournament will be a great way for our immigrant communities to celebrate pride in their home countries, and at the same time, pride in their new home, Philadelphia.”

The tournament is open to men and women 18 years of age and older with a limit of 25 players per team. Teams are responsible for creating their own rosters and will be asked to register with the City by May 16, 2016. A letter of commitment with details about the tournament will be available at all City recreation centers, in the Office of Immigrant Affairs and online beginning today at To register, the letter of commitment and a deposit of check or money order in the amount of $100 made payable to the City of Philadelphia must be submitted in-person at the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Room 110 City Hall.

# # #