An annual soccer festival featuring players from the local international community has been rebranded “World Cup Taiwan 2021,” with 18 teams representing 25 countries competing in New Taipei City on Oct. 23 and 24.
Ten ambassadors and heads of foreign representative offices, along with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, attended yesterday’s launch event, previously known as “Copa America Taiwan.”
It is to feature for the first time a friendly game between ministry officials and representatives of the foreign diplomatic corps. The two-day event is to take place at the Fu Jen Catholic University Stadium in New Taipei City.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Fernando Ramos, a Honduran who stayed to work after graduating in Taiwan, co-organized the event with the Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association and the Taiwan Football Development Association.
“It is more than just football games. World Cup Taiwan has a much bigger goal to promote this democratic country,” Ramos said in his address.
“The tournament’s theme is ‘One Sport, One World’ for players and participants to create long-lasting relationships between civil society and the governments of the participating countries,” he added.
Last year, a Latin Food Festival was held alongside the games, with 13 countries participating. This year, 18 teams, including men and women from 25 countries, are competing, although the matches are to be shortened to 50 minutes to accommodate all the games over two days, the organizers said.
This year’s games are to be played behind closed doors and would not be open to spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions and disease prevention measures.
However, the event will be broadcast live on radio and television channels in Honduras, Guatemala and Paraguay.
Other participating countries include Nicaragua, El Salvador, Belize, Haiti, Italy, the UK, Spain and the US.
Taiwanese and people living abroad can follow all the matches on the tournament’s official Facebook page and on YouTube.
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