JUST 18 DAYS BEFORE THE MAIN EVENTS OF FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP 2018 BEGIN
MOSCOW, May 21, 2018 This year the final events of the Sixth Season of Gazprom's International Football for Friendship children's social programme will unite participants from 211 countries and regions, with adults and children from all over the world coming together in Moscow from 8-15 June.
The programme's young ambassadors are children with unique personal histories, rising stars in athletics and journalism, and talented individuals from all over the world.
For example, Yazan Takha from Syria, a popular blogger and active football co-broadcaster, participates in the programme as a Young Journalist. Among the Young Footballers in the programme is Poadey Sébastien from New Caledonia, one of the oases of Oceania, who has played football since he was 4 and today is one of the youngest players of his nation’s team, the Stade de Koniambo Football Club. One of the Young Coaches is Sofia Bazhenova, a midfielder with the Russian girls junior U-16 team, winner of the Russian Minifootball Championship.
It is noteworthy that the Young Ambassadors of Football for Friendship show their talents in the most varied areas. Ananja Cambodge from India became a star example of publicistic talent in 2017, when as part of her position as the lead Young journalist of the international children's press centre, she became inspired after certain official events and published a book on the nine key values that help make the world a better place. The world premiere of My Journey from Mohali to St. Petersburg will be held as part of the Football for Friendship International Children's Forum on 13 June 2018. The 2018 season participant from Aruba, Shekaili Larianian Asención, is an accomplished environmental activist and a glowing example of purposefulness. Shekaili actively promotes the ecological mission of Football for Friendship in her native country, and shares the values of the programme at meetings with both peers and Aruba's prominent social and political figures, emphasising that in 2018 the children of Oceania had the opportunity to present their countries on the Football for Friendship global international platform for the first time.
"I believe that no one can change our world alone. All the best things that are created on our Planet are the result of the teamwork of many people. I think that participation in the Football for Friendship programme, that is a unique opportunity for the children from all over the world, could help me to change to the better not only my life, but also lives of my mates in Afghanistan. When I return to my country, I will definitely share my Moscow experience with my friends", said Young Ambassador of the Football for Friendship programme, Ahmad Seyar (Afghanistan), 12 y.o.
"I'm happy that this year I will take part in the global Football for Friendship programme. I would like to tell all the participants about my native country. I'm sure that the time that I will spend in Russia will stand out in my mind for a long time. I have never met before so many children from different countries who become one great team from the first days of our acquaintance", shared emotions Young Ambassador of the Football for Friendship programme, Shekaili Larianne Asencion (Aruba), 12 y.o.
Gazprom's international children's social programme Football for Friendship was launched in 2013. The main objective of the programme is the promotion of universal human values among the younger generation, such as friendship, equality, justice, health, peace, loyalty, victory, traditions and honour. Over the past five years, the programme has involved more than 4,000 children. The total number of project supporters is 3 million. The project has been awarded 17 international and Russian awards for social responsibility and communications.
Delegations from 211 countries and regions of the world representing 6 parts of the world (Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania, North America, South America) will take part in the Sixth Season of the international children's social programme Football for Friendship, which is 26 times higher than the number participants at the start of the programme in 2013.
In February 2018, by the results of an Open Draw, 32International Friendship Teams were formed named after rare species of animals on the verge of extinction, as well as the positions for each young football player from each country (goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or striker).
The teams are organized according to the "football for friendship" principle, where athletes of different nationalities, different sexes and different physical abilities (including various forms of disabilities) all play on one team. All players are 12 years old. Young coaches aged 14-16 from different countries will be entrusted to train the national teams. These include 11Young Coaches from the 2018 FIFA World Cup host cities.
Teams: African Elephant, Komodo Dragon, Kipunji, Big Turtle, Dama Gazelle, Cheetah, Rhinoceros, Angel Shark, Polar Bear, Lemur, Grizzly Bear, Whale Shark, Three-Toed Sloth, King Cobra, Chimpanzee, Gharial, Western Gorilla, Imperial Woodpecker, Saiga, Blond Capuchin, Koala, Siberian Tiger, Grévy's Zebra, Orangutan, Giant Panda, Magellanic Penguin, Rothschild's Giraffe, Humpback Whale, African Wild Dog, Lion, Hippopotamus, Galápagos Sea.
Football for Friendship events are covered by 12 year old Young Journalists from 211 countries and regions within the framework of the International Children's Press Centre.
A total of 1,450 children and adults will participate in the events. Events of the Sixth Season of the programme will be covered by more than 5,000 leading media outlets from around the world.
Football for Friendship is supported by FIFA, UEFA, the International Olympic Committee, football federations from various countries, children's international charities, famous athletes and the world's leading football clubs.
Official internet resources of the programme:
Photos and video for the media: http://media.footballforfriendship.com
Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FootballForFriendship/
Official Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/FOOTBALL4FRIENDSHIP
Official Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/footballforfriendship
Official Twitter account: https://twitter.com/football4f
Official website: https://gazprom-football.com
International Media Centre of the PJSC Gazprom Football for Friendship programme: