Members of Team France pose with their Philadelphia International Unity Cup Fair Play Award presented by Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. France was the overall winner, while the state association presented awards to all 12 group winners.
Philadelphia (11/11/2017)—Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer presented the Fair Play Awards at halftime of the 2017 Philadelphia International Unity Cup final between Sierra Leone and Liberia on Saturday.
France was the winner as the team that exhibited the most gentlemanly play throughout the competition. The Fair Play Award was voted on by participating teams, referees and tournament administrators.
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer President Jim Kuntz and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer CEO Chris Branscome were on hand to present the award to representatives from the French team.
"We are proud to recognize France as the Unity Cup Fair Play winner for playing the game the right way and in the spirit of the tournament," said Branscome. "As an organization, we value fair play and respect, and it's great to see the adult players in Philadelphia, and in the Unity Cup in general, setting a good example for the youth."
Group Fair Play Awards were given out as well to Cambodia (Group A), Belarus (Group B), Refugee Team (Group C), Myanmar (Group D), South Africa (Group E), Iraq (Group F), Vietnam (Group G), France (Group H), India (Group I), Indonesia (Group J), Ireland (Group K) and Ghana (Group L). All received commemorative plaques, while France, as the overall winner, got an equipment donation courtesy of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and Angelo's Soccer Corner.
In addition, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer will run a clinic for youth players in Philadelphia's French community.
"We are very happy, very proud. At each game, there was a very good atmosphere, with this team but also with our opponents," said French captain Yohann Vandaele. "We are very happy with this award. The idea of this tournament is great, especially at this moment when things are happening in the world. It's a very nice symbol. Thank you to the city of Philadelphia for putting it on."
Liberia defeated Sierra Leone 3-1 in the final.
About the Philadelphia International Unity Cup: The Philadelphia International Unity Cup is a soccer tournament that celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the City of Brotherly Love through the worldwide appeal of soccer. It is a 48-team, World Cup-style tournament composed mainly of diverse immigrant groups across Philadelphia. The tournament is a cooperative effort among several municipal departments, chief among them the City of Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.