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FIFA's official partner announces opening of social project

102   //    23 Mar 2018, 17:21 IST

New Delhi, Mar 23 (PTI) Aiming to promote peace, equality and respect for all, one of official partners of 2018 FIFA World Cup, Gazprom has announced the opening of Football for Friendship (F4F) International Children's Social Project, which involves Dutch legend Marco van Basten, among others.

The initiative is in its sixth season, and one young footballer from India will play in the global event, which will unite kids from 211 countries. The final events of the season will be held in Moscow from June 8 to 15.

The goal of the programme is to involve the young generation throughout the world in promoting friendship, equality, peace and respect for different cultures and nationalities.

"We were glad to support this unique initiative from our FIFA partner Gazprom," said FIFA's first female secretary general, 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."

The F4F open draw was held in Moscow. The program has expanded from 64 countries in 2017 to 211 countries and regions in 2018.

Thirty-two international teams of friendship were formed during the open draw, as well as playing roles for each young player from each country (goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or forward) were determined.

Marco van Basten said, "Participating in the Gazprom International Children's social programme Football for Friendship, you will meet friends from all over the world, learn more about equality and fairness - values that are very important for FIFA. I hope to meet you there and wish you the best of luck."

The teams are organised using the 'football for friendship' principle - athletes of different nationalities, different genders and different physical abilities will play in one team.

The day after the Football for Friendship World Championship, young ambassadors will meet at the the sixth International Football for Friendship Children's Forum, where they will discuss ways of promoting the programme's key values across the globe

Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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