Hundreds of gay and lesbian soccer players gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Monday to kick of the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA ) World Soccer Championships.

The event, which was first held in Washington and is now in its tenth year, features almost 500 amateur players from 28 teams from countries around the world.

This tournament is the first ever IGLFA World Championship in Latin America and the first recognised international gay soccer/football tournament in South America.

The championship is backed by the world soccer association FIFA and has received support from the Buenos Aires City Government. In recent years the city has become an increasingly popular gay tourist destination.

Founded in 1980, the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association describes its mission as aiming to “foster and augment the self respect of gay women and men throughout the world, and engender respect and understanding from the non-gay world, through the medium of football.”

The championship is set to run until Saturday. Next year’s event will take place in London.

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