Inaugural Consulate Cup Launches Ahead of FIFA World Cup
New annual tournament brings together New York City's international diplomatic community to support making soccer more accessible
All funds raised will go directly to grow the NYCSI Community Cup and other free soccer programming
New York, NY, September 30, 2022 - New York City Football Club (NYCFC), alongside the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, Consulate General of Mexico in New York, Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, Consulate General of United Arab Emirates and the NYC African Advisory Council have launched the Consulate Cup, a soccer tournament to make the sport more accessible to New York City's most underserved communities. adidas is also serving as the main sponsor for the inaugural tournament.
On Saturday, October 1, Consulates from around New York City will compete against each other in a knockout tournament at the Crotona Park Soccer Field in The Bronx. The field was recently refurbished through the support of the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC and NYCFC. The field was also rededicated in May of this year, and was a partnership between Congressman Ritchie Torres, NYC Parks, the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC and NYCFC. The project includes four years of dedicated youth community programming overseen by NYCFC's City in the Community (CITC) Foundation.
In addition to celebrating New York City's passionate love for the global game in the lead up to this year's FIFA World Cup, the funds raised from team registrations, auctions and sponsors will go directly to help grow the New York City Soccer Initiative (NYCSI) Community Cup, a free, citywide soccer tournament that connects New York City's youth from all five boroughs to represent their respective neighborhoods.
Participating Consulates in the inaugural tournament include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Slovakia, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.
"Sports have the incredible power to bring people together and change lives, and as mayor of the most diverse city in the United States - one filled with soccer fans - I am thrilled New York City is hosting the Consulate Cup tournament in the lead up to the World Cup in 2026," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "The Consulate Cup will help raise funds to support the New York City Soccer Initiative's Community Cup and help connect our youth to sports in underserved communities. Every one of the 48 countries that qualified for the World Cup are represented in the five boroughs, and together, we will kick down barriers and lift all New Yorkers up."
NYCFC CEO Brad Sims said: "Soccer has the unique power to bring people from all different backgrounds and cultures together, and we're seeing that on full display with the Consulate Cup. It's incredible to see this tournament bring together our city's international diplomatic community to help make the game we love more accessible, especially as we are just over a month away from this year's World Cup.
"The funds raised through this tournament will help bring more free soccer programming to youth in all five boroughs, and I want to thank all our partners for helping make this initiative possible. As we approach this year's World Cup - and get even closer to seeing the World Cup return to North America in 2026 - I cannot think of a better event that captures the spirit of soccer."
"This year's inaugural Consulate Cup exemplifies the unifying power of sports and New York City's unique role as a global capital. I applaud the Consulate Cup for choosing the Bronx as their home this year and donating funds to free soccer summer programming, ensuring that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to experience the joy of soccer," said Sheena Wright, Deputy Mayor, Strategic Initiatives.
"The Bronx is on the world stage as we host today's inaugural Consulate Cup soccer tournament at the Crotona Park Soccer Field featuring the Consulate Generals of Mexico, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Peru, and over a dozen others representing other nations from around the world," said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. "In a borough already so rich and diverse in culture, this collaboration through sports can further build lasting relationships that can create greater understanding and mutual appreciation for the contributions of countries from around the globe. I would like to thank Mayor Adams, the African Advisory Council, and the New York City Parks Department for their great work in making this day happen. I would also like to provide special thanks to the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC and the New York City Football Club for funding the remodeling of our soccer field here in Crotona Park."
"The Consulate Cup is a unique opportunity to bring our international and local communities together for a chance to enjoy the Beautiful Game, while also supporting our very own New York City Soccer Initiative's Community Cup, a program to provide free soccer tournaments to youth in underserved communities," said Marcella Tillett, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. "We want to thank all the organizers and mayoral offices for bringing this event together, and adidas for sponsoring this unique public-private partnership."
Ambassador Niculin Jäger, Consul General of Switzerland in New York said: "Switzerland is proud to have initiated the inaugural Consulate Cup together with a strong and diverse group of partners. We believe in the integrative, social power of sport. We are committed to improving equal opportunities for young people in an inclusive way. Our goal is to connect the diplomatic community with New York's local communities throughout the boroughs and raise awareness for social issues, inspire youth and promote access to soccer for children in underserved communities."
Her Excellency Amna Binzaal Almheiri, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates said: "The UAE Consulate General in New York is delighted to have played its part in the establishment of the Consulate Cup. Soccer has a unique way of bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and communities. In partnership with sporting organizations and community groups the UAE Consulate is committed to supporting equal opportunities for the most underserved communities in New York."
His Excellency Jorge Islas Lopez, Consul General of Mexico in New York said: "The NYC Consulate Cup is a one of a kind football soccer tournament that will, for the first time ever, connect our diverse migrant communities throughout the five boroughs of the City, whilst also helping to increase their access to sports and resources available for them."
"We are proud to host the first-ever Consulate Cup tournament in Crotona Park, organized by NYCFC and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. As soccer continues to grow in popularity here in New York, partnerships like these are especially meaningful to the people of this city," said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. "I wish all of the consulates in attendance luck in the tournament, and am thrilled that the funds raised through this event will go directly towards promoting free soccer programming for the children of our city."
"Soccer unifies and brings people together, regardless of their age, race, gender, culture, or nationality. The Consulate Cup exemplifies the power of sports diplomacy in connecting those from diverse backgrounds and building lasting bridges between communities." said Edward Mermelstein, NYC Commissioner of International Affairs. "As a city of immigrants, we are proud of our strong relationships with Consulates and the invaluable collaborations to ensure New Yorkers receive the support and services they need."
Earlier this year, the New York City Soccer Initiative (NYCSI) partners - the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, NYCFC, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, adidas and Etihad Airways - hosted the first-ever NYCSI Community Cup. The free tournament took place over two weekends, starting with coaching and skills-building clinics before moving to a knockout tournament the following weekend.
Alongside its partners, NYCFC recruited and served over 200 kids from across the city, forming 25 teams that represented their communities, through CITC - the foundation proudly supported by NYCFC. The teams then played on the mini pitches created through NYCSI, a first-of-its kind $3 million initiative to create and maintain 50 mini-pitches throughout the city and expand free soccer programming to New York City youth, culminating in the Mott Haven team defeating the Astoria team in the final and taking home the inaugural Community Cup.
To learn more about NYCSI and find a mini-pitch near you, visit nyc.gov/site/fund/initiatives/city-soccer.page.
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