Kathmandu, April 3

Gazprom, the official partner of FIFA and 2018 FIFA World Cup, has launched the Football for Friendship (F4F) International Children's Social Project in Nepal.

The main objective of the programme is to involve young generation throughout the world in promoting the important human values among their peers - friendship, equality, peace and respect for different cultures and nationalities.

“The sixth Gazprom Football for Friendship, being held in collaboration with FIFA, is an event that brings together children from 211 countries and regions. We are delighted to support the programme and will be nominating two young students from Nepal to participate in the programme in Moscow in June,” said Sanjib Mishra, Deputy General Secretary of the All Nepal Football Association in a release. “We look forward to these young children becoming a part of the global movement of football for peace.”

The Football for Friendship Open Draw was held in Moscow and 32 International Teams of Friendship were formed as well as playing roles for each player (goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or forward) were determined. As per the draw, a young footballer from Nepal will play as a forward for African Elephant team in the championship. The final events of the season will be held in Moscow from June 8-15.

The teams are organised using the Football for Friendship principle - athletes of different nationalities, genders and physical abilities in one team. Each International Team of Friendship will be trained by young coaches - footballers between 14-16yrs from different countries.

After the Championship, the selected young ambassadors will take part in the sixth International Football for Friendship Children's Forum, where they will discuss ways of promoting the programme's key values across the globe. As an ecological initiative of Football for Friendship all the 32 International Teams of Friendship are named after endangered animals of the world.

“The sixth season of the international children's social programme, Football for Friendship is officially open. This year, F4F is supported by 211 countries and regions. We live in an age where people all over the world seek to unite behind the principles of equality and respect for each other. The project is a crucial element in this process,” said Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Board of Directors at PJSC Gazprom.

“We are glad to support this unique initiative from the FIFA partner, Gazprom,” said FIFA 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.”