June Declared Immigrant Heritage Month in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Miriam Enriquez, Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA), and other City officials hosted a ceremony to draw teams for the pool play rounds of the first Philadelphia International Unity Cup (PIUC) tournament. Mayor Kenney drew balls labeled with all 32 teams each representing a different nation to determine which teams would compete against each other during the initial rounds of the tournament. The ceremony was held in the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park, as the PIUC championship game will be played at the ballpark on November 5, 2016.

“It’s important to hold events like this to show that Philadelphia is an inclusive, welcoming city,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The spirit of competition, sportsmanship and respect is what this is really all about.”

There are 32 teams participating in the Philadelphia International Unity Cup. The teams will be divided into four regions: Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Mayor Kenney drew one team from each region to form eight groupings for the pool play rounds of the tournament. The pool play rounds selected are as follows:

Group A: Ivory Coast, Germany, Cambodia, Honduras

Group B: Congo, Lithuania, Indonesia, Argentina

Group C: Liberia, Spain, Myanmar, Colombia

Group D: Nigeria, Italy, South Korea, Jamaica

Group E: Senegal, Poland, Vietnam, Mexico

Group F: Sierra Leone, Turkey, India, Puerto Rico

Group G: Cape Verde, Ireland, United states, Haiti

Group H: Sudan, Ukraine, Bhutan, Guatemala

“Parks & Recreation is so proud to coordinate this event in partnership with many different city departments and external agencies,” said Commissioner Ott Lovell. “I can feel the excitement in the air as we kick off this tournament.”

Mayor Kenney also presented a proclamation declaring June “Immigrant Heritage Month” in Philadelphia. The PIUC is a cooperative effort between the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Department of Parks & Recreation, meant to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the City of Brotherly Love through the worldwide appeal of soccer.

“Throughout the month, we’ll be celebrating both our diversity and our shared American heritage,” said Miriam Enriquez, OIA Director. “The Unity cup is a great example of inclusion, tolerance and peace, all ideals that stand at the center of the Philadelphia story.”

The schedule for the pool play rounds of the tournament will be created in the coming weeks.