Young Ambassadors from all over the world arrived in Madrid for final events of Football for Friendship programme

More than 800 participants of the final events of the Gazprom International Children’s Social Programme Football for Friendship has arrived in Madrid. From May 28 to June 2, several global events uniting Young Players, Young Journalists, Young Coaches, and Young Referees from Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South Americas will take place in the capital of Spain

On May 29 and 30, Young Participants will undergo sports and humanitarian training in the International Friendship Camp. They will get acquainted, learn about the Nine Values of the programme, attend workshops from famous athletes, journalists, and coaches.

"I want to make as many new friends as possible thanks to Football for Friendship! Ever since I was little, I was interested in different cultures, that's why I think it's great that the International Teams of Friendship unite participants from the most different regions and countries. It is important to share the values of Football for Friendship not only with your teammates, but with all the peers that I know: in school, on vacation, in sports sections. The more people who talk about friendship, equality, and honour there are, the better the world we live in will become!" says Catarina Barata, Young Ambassador of Football for Friendship (aged 15).

The International Football for Friendship Forum with the participation of football academies and federations representatives, coaches, sports journalists, and experts from different countries will take place on May 30 in Madrid. They will discuss the questions of the development of children's and youth sports. During the ten sessions of the Forum, the experts will discuss the trends on the promotion of children's sports and their humanitarian components, effective training methods, trauma prevention in children's football, and other topics.

The Football for Friendship World Championship will become the highlight of the programme's final events. 32 International Teams of Friendship will participate in the Qualification Stage on May 31. The Championship Final will take place on June 1 on the UEFA Pitch in the very center of Madrid Plaza Mayor.

Traditionally, boys and girls aged 12 of different nationalities and physical abilities will play on each Team of Friendship. Young Coaches (football players aged 14-16) from different countries and regions many of whom have previously participated in Football for Friendship and have successfully shown their skills on the field will train the International Teams of Friendship.

"I am really looking forward to meeting my peers from other countries. I'm sure that in the International Friendship Camp we will learn a lot of new information thanks to the interesting lectures and talking with each other. These two days we will work hard together creating joint projects, and without a doubt become real friends," says Yana Stashkova, a Young Player from Belarus.

The lineups of the International Teams of Friendship were formed by Open Draw. In the solemn ceremony took part Zahar Badyuk (Russia), Rene Rantuša Lamphert (Slovenia), Christopher Sowah Mensah (Ghana), Ananya Kamboj (India), Catarina Barata (Potugal), and Yusuf Moazzam (Pakistan). The legend of the world football and the Global Ambassador of Football for Friendship Franz Beckenbauer and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gazprom PJSC Viktor Zubkov gave welcome speeches to the participants of the Seventh Season.

Within the framework of the Football for Friendship ecological initiative, all International Teams of Friendship are named after rare and endangered animals from different continents: Oriental Stork, Amsterdam Albatross, Snow Leopard, Chinchilla, Red Panda, European Mink, Tasmanian Devil, Asian Elephant, Fossa, Philippine Crocodile, Sunda Pangolin, Tatu-canastra, and others.

Young Journalists from different countries will cover the final events of Football for Friendship in Madrid. Within the framework of the Seventh Season, 32 Young Journalists work in the International Children's Press Center. This year, for the very first time they will work together with adult journalists of the leading international and national media. Under the guidance of the professionals children will get insights into the work of a journalist and create their own materials on the results of the key events of the Seventh Season.

The seventh season will end with the participants of closing events visiting the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final at Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid.


The International Children’s Social Programme Football for Friendship has been implemented by Gazprom since 2013. The key values promoted by the programme's participants are friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honour. Football for Friendship is supported by the UEFA, FIFA, International Olympic Committee, football federations of different countries, children’s international charity funds, famous athletes, and the leading football clubs of the world. For the previous six seasons, the programme has brought more than 6 thousand participants together and acquired over 5 million followers including famous athletes, artists, and politicians.

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