FOOTBALL UNITED IN FRIENDSHIP SOUTH AND NORTH KOREA
Moscow, July 10, 2018. – Young participants in the 6th season of the Gazprom International Children’s Social Programme Football for Friendship have safely returned to their home countries. They are boys and girls of different nationalities and different physical abilities, who visited Moscow on 8–15 June to participate in the final events of the Programme: the International Friendship Camp, First Football for Friendship World Championship, International Children's Forum, and the events of the FIFA World Cup Organising Committee. Journalists of the international media noted that, in the new season of Football for Friendship, the Young Footballers from North and South Korea played in the same team and returned home as best friends.
According to the results of the Open Draw, which took place back in February 2018, the Young Footballers from these countries found themselves on the same international friendship team — Blonde Capuchin — which united young talents from different parts of the world.
From the first days of the International Children's Camp in Moscow, the participants from North and South Korea got on with each other very well. They had lots of conversations, and, during the time of joint football competitions, these young people presented themselves as the strongest players of their team. During the project, the Young Footballers became true friends and, before going back to their home countries, promised each other to keep in touch.
Young Ambassador from South Korea Chanwoo Kim, who has been professionally playing football since the age of 7, was selected to participate in the 6th season of Football for Friendship by the South Korean National Football Federation as a result of an open competition among youth football clubs of the country.
Young participant from North Korea Tae Gwon Ri, who has been playing football since the age of 8, also underwent a serious selection for participation in the Programme: he won a competition for ball handling among his peers from the best North Korean youth football schools.
This friendship became a true symbol of the 6th season of the Programme because Football for Friendship has proven once again that there are no borders for partnership, teamwork, and mutual understanding.
"Thanks to its unprecedented scale, the 6th season of Football for Friendship managed to bring together children from all corners of the world on the same team. Values promoted by participants in the Programme are the basis of harmonious development of the individual, without which it is impossible to achieve success not only in sports, but in all other spheres of life. Thanks to the special atmosphere that we have managed to create on the project, all the children regardless of their gender, nationality, and physical abilities can freely communicate with each other without any boundaries at all," said the Global Director of the Football for Friendship International Children’s Social Programme, Vladimir Serov.
"Participation in the Football for Friendship Programme helped me not only make new friends from different countries of the world, but also improve my sports skills because we were trained by real professionals. And I will always remember the opening day of the World Cup because I was lucky enough to represent my country at the opening ceremony of the Russia–Saudi Arabia match! My dream came true!" said Young Ambassador Tae Gwon Ri (North Korea, 12 years old).
PJSC Gazprom has been implementing the Football for Friendship International Children’s Social Programme since 2013.The aim of the project is to develop children's football, promote tolerance and respect for different cultures and nationalities among children from around the world. The key values supported and promoted by participants include friendship, equality, justice, health, peace, loyalty, victory, traditions, and honour.
The project’s most important event is the annual Football for Friendship International Children's Forum, which brings together young footballers from all over the world to discuss worldwide promotion of the key values with media professionals and famous football players.
The Football for Friendship project has a special award — the Nine Values Cup. This is a unique trophy, which is annually awarded to a professional football club for implementation of social initiatives based on the project’s values. The winner is chosen by young Football for Friendship ambassadors through a vote held in all countries participating in the project.
Thousands of participants join the project every year. Since its inception, the project's geographical scope has expanded significantly — from 8 countries in 2013 to 211 in 2018. Hundreds of young footballers become ambassadors for the Football for Friendship movement and its values in their respective countries. The official symbol of the Football for Friendship project — the Friendship Bracelet — is worn by over 3 million children and adults around the world, including famous athletes, journalists, performers, politicians, and presidents of different countries.
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FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP