NATIONAL NEWS

Soccer fans now have a day to celebrate the world’s most popular sport — May 25

May 7, 2024, 5:41 PM | Updated: 7:40 pm

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Soccer fans around the world will now have a day to celebrate the world’s most popular sport every year – May 25.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution Tuesday proclaiming May 25 as World Football Day. The sport is called football outside of the United States.

The day marks the 100th anniversary of the firs t international soccer tournament in history with the representation of all regions which took place on May 25, 1924 during the summer Olympic games held in Paris, according to the resolution.

The 193-member General Assembly adopted the resolution by consensus with a bang of the gavel by its president, Dennis Francis, to applause from diplomats in the assembly chamber. It was co-sponsored by more than 160 countries.

Libya’s U.N. Ambassador Taher El-Sonni, who introduced the resolution, told the assembly, “Football or soccer as others call it is t he number one game played and followed around the globe.”

But he stressed that soccer is more than just a game played by all ages on streets, in villages, schools and courtyards for fun and in competitions.

Because of its “unparalleled position” in the world of sports, El-Sonni said, “football serves as a universal language spoken across the globe, cutting across national, cultural and socio-economic barriers.”

He said the game has become “a pivotal platform” championing gender equality and social inclusion, “a common ground where individuals from varying backgrounds converge, promoting mutual understanding, tolerance, respect and solidarity.”

The resolution acknowledges “the global reach of football and its impact in various spheres, including commerce, peace and diplomacy, and recognizing that football creates a space for cooperation.”

It also recognizes “the fundamental role” of soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, and the important role of regional and national soccer federations, as well as relevant associations, in p romoting the game.

The resolution encourages all countries to support soccer and other sports as a tool to promote peace, development and the empowerment of women and girls. And it also encourages countries to adopt policies and programs to promote football and other sports and physical activities.

On May 25, the resolution “invites” all nations, U.N. bodies, international organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector to observe World Football Day in line with national priorities “and to disseminate the advantages of football for all, including through educational and public awareness-raising activities.”

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Soccer fans now have a day to celebrate the world’s most popular sport — May 25