EthniCity Soccer Amateur World-Cup-Style Tournament Launched

July 11, 2010 Final at Chicago's Soldier Field

Jan 19, 2010, 06:00 ET from EthniCity Soccer USA

CHICAGO, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- As the quadrennial FIFA World Cup soccer tournament strikes this coming summer, adult amateur players will also have a chance to shine in the new EthniCity Soccer USA seven-on-seven soccer tournament, with its final game to be held July 11, 2010, on Chicago's Soldier Field, accompanied by a simulcast of the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup final.

What began four years ago as the Chicago World Cup, EthniCity Soccer USA aims to help foreigners and expats across the United States integrate through the world's most popular sport. Players were encouraged to represent their home countries in the "7v7" elimination tourney, and now adult soccer tournaments nationwide are encouraged to register by February, 2010, to be among the 32 qualifiers for EthniCity Soccer USA 2010. Winning teams qualify to compete and represent their countries at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears and the pitch for CONCACAF Gold Cup and other major, international soccer matches.

"Many foreigners yearn to stay connected with their homeland," said Pascal Bedrossian, honorary president, EthniCity Soccer USA, and former MLS Chicago Fire midfielder, French Ligue 1 player, French Cup champion, and junior national star. "The tournament helps us to meet up with our countrymen and soccer players from everywhere, share our national pride and passion for our sport, and hopefully take home our own world cup."

Jean-Francois Rochard, deputy cultural attache, Consulat General de France a Chicago, a key supporting organization, promotes the tournament to the French community, other consulates and embassies, and various Chicago institutions. "The United States and especially Chicago are wonderful melting pots for people from all corners of the world, and EthniCity Soccer USA is an engaging, new way to connect with their communities and learn other cultures," he said.

Companies like Chicago-based Fellowes, Inc., the world's leader in paper shredders, have signed on to support the tournament, and organizers are seeking others to come on board as well in order to build a durable, long-lasting, annual event.

"We recognized the high potential of the concept and its founder, Sebastien Labat, a Chicago-based expat and former soccer player," explained John Fellowes, vice president and general manager, Business Machines Unit, Fellowes. "The risk of identification theft in the U.S. is higher and more critical than in the homelands of most of the 33 million-plus expat workers and other foreigners here. Their sport – soccer – presents a great pitch for us to teach them about these risks and how to protect themselves."

EthniCity Soccer's website and rules are in place and qualifying tournaments have begun to register. The groundswell will continue to grow with social media via mobile and online applications, and through alliances with U.S. Soccer, Illinois State Soccer Association, and other major organizations now at the table discussing unique activation opportunities.

The July 10-11 weekend finals tournament in Chicago will host 32 qualifying teams from tournaments across the U.S. Final match players and fans will be treated to a FIFA World Cup final match in South Africa simulcast on Soldier Field's giant, jumbotron screens. The weekend will also host the World Soccer and Music Festival organized around the tournament, with live, international entertainment and an expo village featuring companies and expat/foreign groups and associations. Also on site will be the Chicago French Bastille Day Festival, which, in 2009, hosted 2,000-plus visitors tasting French food, playing petanque, and participating in a Tour de France challenge.

EthniCity Soccer USA is a property of ChicagoWorldCup LLC, which has since 2006 gathered annually the foreign communities of Chicago, and now nationwide, to celebrate the Chicago World Cup adult soccer tournament and Chicago French Bastille Day Festival. In 2010, EthniCity Soccer USA will be the first-ever, national, adult amateur world cup soccer tournament. Targeted are the 33 million members of the expat and foreign communities and 17 million soccer players and fans in the U.S. to take part in the competition and festival.

ChicagoWorldCup LLC's missions are to help integration of foreign and expat communities in the U.S.; support development and practice of amateur soccer in North America; support the U.S. bid to host the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup; and support the U.S. team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

SOURCE EthniCity Soccer USA