Football for Friendship
Football for Friendship is an international children’s social program initiated by the Company in 2013 within the Gazprom for Children global project. It includes a number of sports and educational events held in different countries around the globe. World football legend Franz Beckenbauer is the global Ambassador of the program.
The F4F program’s mission is:
- developing children’s football;
- promoting youth sports and a healthy lifestyle;
- fostering tolerance and respect toward other cultures and ethnicities;
- promoting friendship among children from different countries.
In order to achieve these goals, Gazprom organizes a number of national and international initiatives involving children:
- International Children’s Forum;
- International Street Football Tournament;
- International Day of Football and Friendship;
- International Children’s Press Center;
- Nine Values Cup awarding ceremony.
The main event of the program is the International Children’s Forum, to which Gazprom annually invites hundreds of young players from top African, Asian, European and South American football clubs.
Young journalist reporting on F4F events in Berlin, June 5–7, 2015
Children participating in the Forum not only meet and communicate with their peers from other countries, as well as famous football players and public figures, but also become young ambassadors to promote universal values by themselves among their age-mates.
The International Street Football Tournament for 12- to 14-year-old boys and girls also takes place at the Forum.
Final game of F4F International Street Football Tournament near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, June 6, 2015
The Forum is covered by the world’s leading media and young reporters, for whom an International Children’s Press Center is set up every year.
At the end of the Forum, Gazprom supplies all project participants with tickets to the UEFA Champions League Final.
Children are provided with accommodation, meals, transportation services, attending personnel (including security officers) and round-the-clock medical care for the duration of the Forum.
In addition, all participating countries celebrate the International Day of Football and Friendship on April 25 of each year as part of the program. The celebrations are meant to help young athletes remember the program’s key values, including friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honor.
On this Day friendly football matches are held. They begin with the exchanging of Friendship Bracelets – the program’s official symbol, a sign of tolerance, equality and a healthy lifestyle.
Andreas Kuen exchanging Friendship Bracelets with children from FC RAPID, participants of F4F 2015 from Austria
In the space of four years, more than 2,650 people from 34 countries and over 90 cities, representing more than 90 football teams and speaking 27 languages, have participated in the Football for Friendship program. Every year around 100,000 people take part in celebrating the International Day of Football and Friendship.
Football for Friendship is supported by such renowned footballers as Vitor Baia, Didier Drogba, Anatoly Tymoshchuk, Luis Neto, and Ralf Faehrmann, as well as football associations and federations in many countries, including FIFA and UEFA.
Starting from 2015, a special award – the Nine Values Cup – is granted at the Forum. The Cup is presented to a professional football club that shows the greatest commitment to the nine values of the F4F program through charity campaigns, social initiatives and other projects implemented to benefit society. The Nine Values Cup is unique, as the winner is chosen by children participating in the F4F program.
Ramon Pont, Vice President of FC Barcelona Foundation, receiving Nine Values Cup during International F4F Forum in Berlin, June 6, 2015
64 countries: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Mozambique, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
32 countries: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK, and Vietnam.
24 countries: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the UK.
16 countries: Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the UK.
8 countries: Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, and the UK.