By Mary Carroll, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Three years ago Rio had its first Gringos Cup in Copacabana, with football (soccer) teams were made up of players from all over the world. This year, Igor Barbosa has organized for the same championship to take place in Rocinha on Saturday 25th August.
It will be the first time that foreigners from all over the world will compete in a football tournament in Rocinha against the locals from the community.
The teams will be made up of six players and one goalkeeper, with each team a maximum of ten players or a minimum of seven players. Those participating in the Gringos Cup should sport a jersey from their country or their team.
Players will donate R$10, which in turn will go towards sports equipment for young football players from Escolinha de Futebol Planeta Rocinha.
Barbosa, who lives in Rocinha, sees any opportunity for foreigners and locals from the favela to integrate as a positive step as it creates “an endless exchange of ideas and cultures.” He says that locals will be delighted to meet and play against players from other countries.
The first encounter Barbosa had with foreigners was a turning point in his life. “When I first came into contact with foreigners, it was something incredible for me, this all happened six years ago. Since then, my life has changed, I have made many friendships that have led to me getting a good job.”
“Today I seek to do what happened with me, to promote a meeting between the people of the favela, many of them with a hidden intelligence and need to see that the world is beyond life within a favela. Many foreigners come to Brazil to study or work, allowing for a great exchange of culture.”
He stresses the importance of integration between the youths in Rocinha and foreigners. “A lot of the time, this can make a boy or girl from favela see that everything in life is possible and that the world is quite large.”
There will be a trophy and medals for the champions. The event will also feature music and entertainment for all to enjoy.
When: Saturday, August 25th 1PM – 7PM
Location: Quadra da Vila Verde, Rocinha
Meeting Point: 12PM, Igreja Universal (at the entrance to Rocinha)
Deadline for sign up: Friday, 24th August
Field: Astro Turf
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