Novazzano, Switzerland—Ten teams of schoolchildren took part in the 2017 Peace Cup soccer tournament, which “entertains and socializes [and is] not just a competition.”

For the sixth time, the little town of Novazzano in Switzerland’s southernmost canton of Ticino hosted the yearly children’s tournament, which has been promoted by UPF-Ticino since 2011 in cooperation with the local soccer association.

The 10 teams of children, aged 9 to 11 years, gathered on Sunday, May 7, 2017, after being prepared by their coaches to spend one day exemplifying fair play both on the playing field and in the spectator stands.

The four young referees, together with the UPF staff and the coaches, carefully observed the games and recorded all the significant gestures of behavior. One of the referees, Flavio (19 years old), has participated in the Peace Cup three times already, and was willing to give me the following short interview:

Question: “What is special about this tournament?”

Answer: “It is a game that entertains and socializes [and is] not just a competition.”

Question: “What do you particularly like about the Peace Cup?”

Answer: “Here nobody complains!”

Question: “Why do you keep coming back as a referee for the Peace Cup?”

Answer: “I like children, I like nature and I like games. This job is perfect. Only this time I’m a little stressed, because at the moment I’m facing my final professional exams. However, so far today, everything has been going very well!”

During the tournament all of us could experience a multitude of emotions, from the jumps of the winners to the tears of the losers, who after some disappointment, received comforting hugs from the winners! UPF-Ticino assigned many awards: The only team participating from Italy won the competition, while the main trophy, the Peace Cup, was presented to the sixth-ranking team Ceresio for its special investment. Many other prizes were awarded to individuals who showed outstanding courage and action in harmony with the motto: “Play soccer, make peace.”

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