Soccer tournament raises money for Japan

Spirited shouting echoed throughout the intramural fields on Saturday as teams tested their soccer skills against each other during the second annual World Cup hosted by the Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO).

As part of COISO’s mission to defend the interest of international students, the organization found that an effective way of sharing culture was through sports.

With eight competing teams instead of last year’s 11, participation may have decreased, but the atmosphere was just as intense. Players dribbled and tackled their way around the field and scored goals in the name of the regions they represented.

“Soccer is something that connects the world,” said senior Kristi Persad, president of COISO. “We invite competing teams to represent their favorite region. We have teams representing China, Argentina, the Middle East. It brings them a lot of national pride.”

The COISO World Cup furthered the organization’s fundraising efforts for disaster relief for children in Japan, who are still feeling the effects of the recent earthquake and tsunami. Each tournament participant paid a $10 entry fee to compete and all the proceeds will be donated to UNICEF’s disaster relief fund.

“I think it’s great,” senior Kevin Waissmann said. “Last year we did the same thing for Haiti after the earthquake. It’s great to help people in need.”

World Cup players enjoyed the friendly competition the tournament promoted and many of last year’s teams competed again. Sophomore Marc Fruitema said that the lack of soccer tournaments at the University of Miami motivates eager students to sign up for the tournament.

“Most of the people here play on the IM fields during the week so when you hear about a tournament like this, everyone just tries to get together a team amongst their friends,” Fruitema said.

The winning team of the second annual World Cup was the Middle East.

Esther Pang may be contacted at