As the delegates and leaders of 193 countries gather at the United Nations in New York City this week trying to find common ground, an equally auspicous international gathering has formed just six miles away at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison New Jersey, home of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls. Representatives of 32 countries gathered today for the opening ceremony of the 2017 Danone Nations Cup World Final Tournament, their first time doing so on U.S. soil.
Above: Members of the Algerian team catching their first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Photo Credit: Danone
Above: Athletes from Ghana and Canada showing mutual respect at the Opening Ceremony. Photo Credit: Danone
Above: Team USA, boys and girls,united and ready for action. Photo Credit: Danone
Above: Brazilian girls team and Senegal's boys team showing that it takes more than the Atlantic Ocean to separate these new friends. Photo Credit: Danone
Although the competition will be fierce, these young athletes aged 10-12 years old, will play with mutual respect and learn that they share more in common with each other than there are differences. For the first time in the Tournament's 18 year history, there will be girls division offering further proof that, not only is there equality among nations, there is equality between genders.
“With our partners, it is our duty to continuously encourage the values of this tournament, which are built on fun, comradery, teamwork, tolerance and respect. We’re confident this year’s tournament will give players the opportunity not only to participate in an unforgettable day, but to build lasting relationships with other players from around the world,” said Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone. If only our world leaders meeting at the U.N. could adopt such values.
While the 26,500 seat Red Bull Arena is completely sold out for Sunday's Finals, the event will be televised live on WABC.