Fundraising tournament brings together New York City’s international diplomatic community to make the beautiful game more accessible for New York City youth
20 consulates representing New York City’s diplomatic community are coming together to compete in the second annual Consulate Cup on Saturday, October 14 from 10:00am - 5:00pm ET. More than 200 players from across the globe will compete in the soccer tournament at Citi Field.
The competition, hosted by New York City Football Club (NYCFC), serves as a fundraiser for City in the Community (CITC), the nonprofit proudly supported by the Club. The funds raised from team registrations, auctions and sponsors will expand the nonprofit’s free soccer programming for New York City’s youth across all five boroughs.
Alongside NYCFC, the Consulate Cup is organized in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Consulate General of Mexico in New York, Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, Consulate General of United Arab Emirates and the African Advisory Council. Etihad Airways is also serving as the main partner for the tournament.
“Sports, in particular, soccer, have the unique power of shattering barriers and bringing people of all backgrounds together in the spirit of competition,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Our young people need outlets like the Consulate Cup to enjoy our city while also seeing its endless possibilities for inspiration and growth. I am proud that, as a global melting pot and city of immigrants, New York City is once again hosting the international community for the Consulate Cup.”
“I want to congratulate and thank all of the local and international partners involved in this year’s Consulate Cup,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana Almanzar. “This event is a true reflection of this administration’s efforts to build an international community, provide recreation activities for New Yorkers and support our young people as they learn and grow.”
“Soccer brings joy and unity across the world and creates great memories. The Consulate Cup shows the power of sports to bring us together and build a better future for New Yorkers,” said Edward Mermelstein, NYC Commissioner of International Affairs. “We are grateful to all the consulates that are participating this year for their contributions to New Yorkers. We are proud to be the home of the largest diplomatic community in the world and this initiative is a great example of the positive impact of consulates in NYC.”
“We're deeply inspired by the Consulate Cup's efforts to raise funds for our city's youth through the universal language of soccer,” said Jasmine Ray, Director of the Mayor's Office of Sports, Wellness and Recreation. “A heartfelt thank you to all involved for championing this cause and showcasing the sport's unifying power. Together, we make NYC shine brighter.”
“Soccer has a magical power to bring people together and serve as a real solution to help improve the health and wellbeing of young people. The Consulate Cup will not only help raise critical funds for free soccer programming, but also engage the diplomatic community to connect with their local communities,” said Paul Jeffries, Executive Director of NYCFC’s nonprofit City in the Community. “We look forward to continue growing this charity tournament in the lead up to the 2026 World Cup and bringing the joy of the game to many more neighborhoods across the five boroughs.”
“We’re proud to support the second annual Consulate Cup, and efforts by NYCFC and the Mayor’s Fund for New York City to make soccer more accessible to our most underserved communities. As New York City gears up to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, it’s an ideal time to celebrate the international influence of this incredible sport by bringing local Consulates together to compete in the tournament,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “The Consulate Cup is another example of New York City leading the way to promote active lifestyles and bring communities together through sports.”
With excitement mounting ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which is being co-hosted in the region, many of the countries that will be competing in soccer’s most famous tournament will be represented in the Consulate Cup. The following nations are confirmed to compete in the Consulate Cup:
Angola, Argentina, Australia, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Gambia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Switzerland, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.
The 20 nations will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Burkina Faso, who won the inaugural Consulate Cup.
“The Mayor’s Fund is excited to partner with the City of New York, New York City Football Club, these 20 incredible consulate teams representing countries across the globe to launch the second annual NYC Consulate Cup!” said Marcella Tillett, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “This event brings together the international community in New York City as tournament competitors while also being collaborative partners in support of youth development through sport with their contributions to our NYC Soccer Initiative’s Community Cup. May the best team win!”
Her Excellency Amna Binzaal Almheiri, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates, said: “This year, we're particularly excited to have players from the New York University Abu Dhabi Soccer Club back in the Consulate Cup. Our team is made up of a young group of students who share a love for soccer -- a true reflection of what this tournament is about -- celebrating diversity and the unifying power of sports.”
"Soccer is a great example of the unifying power of sports among people and communities," highlighted Ambassador Niculin Jäger, Consul General of Switzerland in New York. “With soccer being the most popular sport in Switzerland, I am excited to witness the growing interest amongst youth in the United States, both among boys and girls.”
“As one of the organizing partners, we are thrilled to highlight the importance of inclusion and diversity through this tournament. Soccer is more than just a game; it's a global language that transcends borders and cultures. In a city as diverse as New York, events like the Consulate Cup serve as a powerful reminder that our strength lies in our unity. Together, we can create a more inclusive environment for our youth, who are the future leaders of this great city,” said Jorge Islas López, Consul General of Mexico in New York.
Ambrose Ngande, African Advisory Council, said: “We’re looking forward to this year's Consulate Cup tournament at Citi Field, Queens. This is an event that brings the consulates to the community as a way of strengthening and supporting underserved communities throughout New York City. We hope that the tournament will continue to grow and flourish so that more opportunities can be created for not only soccer, but other sports and recreational activities.”
Richard Hordern-Gibbings, player on the Australian team, added: “Representing your country, regardless of the vehicle, is an honor and a privilege. Sure, it's a social and amateur event, but that doesn't mean it will feel any less special pulling on the green and gold shirt. This is an incredible opportunity and it's the perfect example of an 'only in New York City' type of moment.”
The Consulate Cup serves as a direct fundraiser for the New York City Soccer Initiative (NYCSI) Community Cup, a free, citywide soccer tournament that connects New York City’s youth from all five boroughs to represent their respective neighborhood. The Community Cup is one of CITC’s marquee yearly events as part of its mission to make soccer more accessible.
Earlier this year, the NYCSI Community Cup also took place at Triborough Bridge Playground in Queens. In the leadup to the tournament, CITC recruited and served over 300 kids from across the city, forming 30 teams that represented their communities. The final was played on one of the mini pitches created through NYCSI, a first-of-its-kind $3 million initiative to create and maintain 50 mini-pitches throughout the city and expand free soccer programming to New York City youth. The Park Hill, Staten Island team won in the final match against the Chinatown team to become this year's NYCSI Community Cup champions.
To learn more about NYCSI and find a mini pitch near you, visit nyc.gov/site/fund/initiatives/city-soccer.page.