India — Yes, India — Bests England to Win ATL Nations Cup Soccer Tournament

Since colonial times, India has become a powerhouse in cricket, a sport it inherited from the Brits. Soccer, an even more important national pastime of England? Not so much. 

But for a brief moment in Atlanta last week, Team India was on top, besting Team England 4-3 in the final match of a local football fight for a good cause. 

Soccer in the Streets’ ATL Nations Cup tournament aimed to capitalize on positive national rivalries to raise money for its work with underprivileged kids in Atlanta. (Although, player nationalities didn’t have to match their selected teams.) 

The organization manages after-school soccer camps and a variety of other programs to teach life skills through the sport. It recently won the Beyond Sports innovation award (and a variety of other international accolades) for its “Station Soccer” concept, a one-of-a-kind pitch situated within the Five Points MARTA station. The goal is to keep transportation access from being a hindrance to playing. 

While the Indians prevailed on the pitch, the British team sponsored by the British American Business Council of Georgia  brought in the most cash for the organization, raising more than $8,000 to the Indian team’s $2,838.

Overall, the eight teams raised more than $40,300 by asking players to recruit pledges from backers. They’ll likely end up just shy of the $50,000 goal when everything comes in. 

On the individual front, Tilo Fruth of the defending champion German team raised $2,376, partly with the backing of his sponsoring company, Beko Technologies.

BY Global Atlanta

 Team India. Photo: Hank Hibbert.

Team India. Photo: Hank Hibbert.