By Allie Horwitz
Members from each FSF team reading the Peace Games opening remarks
“On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect.” –UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Yesterday Fútbol Sin Fronteras Granada hosted the fourth annual Copa de la Paz (Peace Cup) on a cloudless Saturday. The event marked a commemoration of the United Nations' International Day of Peace, a day observed around the world devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace. The day also celebrated the development of women’s soccer in Nicaragua and served as a positive barometer of its continued growth. With a record-breaking attendance of 17 teams, the Copa de la Paz marked one of the most popular girls soccer tournaments in Nicaraguan history on a special day to celebrate peace and development.
After an early start and a boisterous bus ride with all FSF participants, the Cup began with a short parade into San Matias, where the tournament was held. In the opening ceremony, a member of Fútbol Sin Fronteras from each group spoke briefly about the day’s history and how the Peace Cup had come to be a significant day for girls' soccer in Nicaragua. With music blaring, the Cup kicked off around 9:30am, each team playing several “group stage” games. The tournament was split into three brackets-Moskitos (ages 6-9), Infantil A (ages 9-13) and Infantil B (ages 13-16). The three divisions made for great parity, with most games within a goal and several ties. In the end, the semi-finals of the two older groups were decided on penalty kicks. In the finals, the Mariposas Juniors won with a score of 1-0 off a goal from
Milagros in the Moskito category. In the next age group, the Mariposas Seniors beat Diocesano 2-0 with goals from Rosa and Mariangeles “Male”. In the oldest group, Cofradia, a team from Masaya, beat el Escudo from Granada 1-0. Each winning team celebrated wildly when they received their medals and their Cup at the day’s end. A memorable day for girls' soccer in Nicaragua, for Fútbol Sin Fronteras and for the entire community who joined in this celebration of peace, September 21 was a success by all accounts. We look forward to continued growth of women’s soccer and lasting peace in Nicaragua and globally.