Soccer Tournament Features Players Of All Ages - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Soccer Tournament Features Players Of All Ages

Paul Murray Paul Murray
Scott Pancoast Scott Pancoast
Herb Mandel Herb Mandel

By Stephen Florino

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Soccer is a sport you can enjoy playing, no matter how old you are. That's what a group is proving, by playing in an international tournament right here in Hawaii.

It's called the World Fun Cup -- held every two years in a different spot around the world, and one very appropriately named event.

This soccer tournament features some of the best players in the world. Or at least, they used to be.

"We're basically a bunch of old men trying to relive our past," said Paul Murray, a player on the San Diego team.

It's the 8th World Cup of Fun, put on by Supa Oldie Sports International, featuring 14 teams from 8 different countries, featuring retired professionals and college all-stars between 35 and 73 years old.

"It's a very civilized tournament, compared to a lot of them," said Scott Pancoast, of the San Diego team. "We play one game a day, and the rest of it is for the camaraderie and bondness from all these people around the world."

"The whole emphasis is on participation, rather than winning," said Herb Mandel, president of SOS International. "Although once the whistle, everybody wants to win."

Rules are modified -- like no slide tackling is allowed -- so no one gets hurt. Because these guys aren't built like they're used to.

"When we were younger, we all had rubber bodies," said Murray. "We could bounce up and bounce right back. Now, it takes us five minutes for us to get up off the floor."

But it does give these athletes a chance to stay active and healthy, and enjoy life.

"It also gives our audience the opportunity to travel, see the world," said Mandel. "What better way of doing it, playing football and seeing the world."

In Saturday's championship games, the team from Ukraine beat the team from San Diego, 3-0, to take the 45-and over division. And the team from Calgary beat the German team, 2-1, in penalty kicks, to take the 35-and over division.

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