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UB World Cup

By Joshua Ryan
On April 13, 2011

As is obvious to anyone who walks on the campus, the University of Bridgeport features students from many different countries and of many different ethnicities and backgrounds.

Ranked as the 11th most ethnically diverse university in America, UB celebrates this convergence of cultures by hosting the International Festival every year. One of the main events in recent years has been the UB World Cup, a mini soccer tournament.

The coordinator of the event this year was Prashant Giri, who said the focus of the tournament was to highlight the university.

"This is basically celebrating the culture of UB, the diversity, and bringing a friendly atmosphere among students," he said.

The event featured five teams this year: Nepal, Japan, Africa, China, and students from the ELI program.

While last year's World Cup was held in Knights Field, this year it was held on Marina Circle, the large grassy area right in front of Barnum Hall. One person glad for the change was Japan Captain Tatsuya Toyoma.

"I think that the event is good, but I won't use the soccer (Knights) field!" Toyoma said.

This year's event even featured graduate student Chris O'Neil, a member of the Japan team. O'Neil, who coordinated the event last year, said he had a specific reason for being on the team.

"I didn't get to play last year, so this year I wanted to play," he said.

In the end, Japan defeated China in the final match, 3-1, but in the end, the scores did not matter.

"It's like the World Cup," O'Neill said. "It promotes peace within cultures."

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