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UN General Assembly declares May 25 as World Football Day

UN General Assembly declares May 25 as World Football Day
Displaced people play soccer in the background of their refugee camp on the Tunisian   -  
Copyright © africanews
Lefteris Pitarakis/AP2011


May 25 each year has now been declared World Football Day. This follows a United Nations General Assembly resolution on Tuesday, May 7 to allow football fans to celebrate the most popular sport in the world.

The day marks the 100th anniversary of the first 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.

Who introduced this resolution?

Libya's U.N. Ambassador Taher El-Sonni, who introduced the resolution, told the assembly, "Football, or soccer as others call it is the number one game played and followed around the globe."

He however 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.

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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."

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 promoting the game.

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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.

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."