World Cup treat from Gazprom
By Jerome Lagunzad
A young local footballer will have the chance to set foot in the Russian capital city of Moscow in June as the Gazprom’s Football for Friendship International Children’s Project expands its reach across the globe.
Now on its sixth season, the F4F aims to involve young generations and help promote not just the world’s most popular sport but also human values such as friendship, equality, peace and respect for different cultures and nationalities.
“We were glad to support this unique initiative from our FIFA partner Gazprom,” said Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General. “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.”
During the recent open draw held in Moscow, 32 international teams of friendship from 211 countries and regions have been formed and will be competing for the Football for Friendship World Championship on June 12.
Based on the open draw, the young ambassador from the Philippines, in collaboration with Manila-based Team Socceroo Football Club, will play as a “midfielder” in the International Team of Friendship.
“We are delighted to support the program and will be nominating two young students from Philippines to participate in the program. We look forward to these young children becoming a part of a global movement of football for peace,” said Team Socceroo Football Club managing director Michael Reyes.
The final events of the season will be held from June 8 to 15 in Moscow, the main battleground of this year’s FIFA World Cup.
All the teams will be organized using the “football for friendship” principle—athletes of different nationalities, different genders and different physical abilities will play in one team, all of them aged 12.