Lowell immigrant group set for 4th soccer tourney

July 18, 2010

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LOWELL, Mass.—Didn't get enough of the World Cup?

An annual World Cup-style soccer tournament aimed at fostering better relationships among Massachusetts immigrant groups is set to begin next month in Lowell and is expanding to include 20 teams.

This time, organizers are even selling vuvuzelas -- the horns that have blared at World Cup matches in South Africa.

ONE Lowell, an immigrant advocacy group and sponsor of the event, was holding a drawing Sunday for teams of local players representing their countries of origin. The Sunday drawing determines what groups the teams will play in a tournament scheduled for Aug. 1, 7 and 8 at Cawley Stadium in Lowell.

Under the rules of the tournament, 17 of the team's 22 players must be from the country of the team, or be children or grandchildren who are from that country. The winner gets $600 and a replica of the World Cup trophy.

ONE Lowell started the annual competition four years ago as a way to bring the area's diverse immigrant groups together. The event draws immigrants from around the state.

"Our games are an annual event here in Lowell, and this year part of the excitement is generated by the FIFA World Cup," said Victoria Fahlberg, director of ONE Lowell.

Fahlberg said the tournament raises money for citizenship classes, school programs and helping newcomers integrate into American life.

Last year, the competition attracted 2,500 people and raised around $20,000.


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