UN Proclaims May 25 As World Football Day

UN Proclaims May 25 As World Football Day

Football fans around the world will now have a day to celebrate the world’s most popular sport every year – May 25.

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution, proclaiming May 25 as World Football Day. The sport is called soccer in the United States.

The day marks the 100th anniversary of the first international football 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.

ESPN reports that 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 the No. 1 game played and followed around the globe.”

But he stressed that football 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 socioeconomic 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 recognising that football creates a space for cooperation.”

It also recognises “the fundamental role” of football’s international governing body, FIFA, and the important role of regional and national football federations, as well as relevant associations, in promoting the game.

The resolution encourages all countries to support football and other sports as a tool to promote peace, development and the empowerment of women and girls. 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 organisations, 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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