Football for Friendship draw held ahead of the 2018 World Cup
The 2018 Football for Friendship (F4F) draw was conducted on Thursday in Moscow, Russia.
Bringing together young people from 211 countries, the programme encourages them to play the game while upholding the values of friendship, equality, peace and respect.
Organised by official partner of FIFA and major sponsor of the World Cup Russia 2018, Gazprom, F4F will climax in Moscow in June this year, as an exciting curtain-raiser to the World Cup.
The forum is a perfect example of how football can be used to open doors for girls and boys from all backgrounds, a mission that FIFA supports actively.
"For the very first time, young athletes from all parts of the world where football is played will meet on the same field. Football for Friendship gives everyone an opportunity to unite behind the principles of equality and respect for each other," notes Viktor Zubkov, chairperson of the global energy company.
- Tournament features 32 International Teams of Friendship, named after endangered animals
- Team feature athletes from different countries, different gender and different physical abilities
- Players are aged 12
- Teams are coached by young coaches aged 14 – 16
- Tournament to be covered by global media including Children’s Press Center of 12 year old journalists
The draw was officiated by high profile personalities including Fatma Samoura, the FIFASecretary General and football legend Marco Van Basten.
"We were glad to support this unique initiative from our FIFA partner Gazprom," said Fatma Samoura. "The forum is a perfect example of how football can be used to open doors for girls and boys from all backgrounds, a mission that FIFA supports actively."
"This programme gave me the opportunity to find new friends from all over the world. Equality, Peace and Friendship are the main values that we talk about with peers and with adults. We really can change the world for the better. I really believe in it," said 12 year old Juan Manuel Pinola Silveira, the Young Ambassador of the programme Football for Friendship.
The Football for Friendship programme has been organised by PJSC Gazprom since 2013 and has grown from 8 participating countries to 211 today.
The programme is supported by FIFA, UEFA, International Olympic Committee, football federations of various countries, international children’s charity funds, and the world’s leading football clubs.