Gazprom Expands Football for Friendship International Children’s Social Project
Gazprom, the official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, doubled the number of countries participating in the 2014 Football for Friendship international children’s social project. This year players from youth football teams aged 12 to 14 will participate in the project, representing 16 countries: Belarus, Bulgaria, the UK, Hungary, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, France and Croatia.
The Football for Friendship project is implemented as part of the Gazprom for Children social program. Its major goal is to instill fundamental values in the younger generation, namely respect for other cultures and nationalities, equality, as well as interest in a healthy lifestyle, by encouraging children and teenagers to participate in sports.
“Our Football for Friendship global initiative, as well as other social projects of Gazprom, helps educating younger generation in the atmosphere of mutual respect. The Company's programs are aimed at raising healthy children, and encouraging sportsmanship and respect among their peers. We believe that Football for Friendship has already begun to promote these principles amongst children worldwide”, said Alexey Miller, Chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee.
This year, the key event of the Football for Friendship project will be the 2nd International Children’s Forum of Football Teams to be held in Lisbon on May 23–25, 2014, to coincide with the final match of 2013/2014 UEFA Champions League. Upon completion of the forum, young delegates will attend a final game at the Estádio da Luz.
The forum will be conducted under the auspices of the world football star Franz Beckenbauer. Delegates from 16 countries will gather to discuss the effective promotion of Football for Friendship’s key principles, such as traditions, peace, friendship, victory, health, equality, fair play and commitment.
“The results of the last year’s Football for Friendship project emphasized the importance of bringing together children passionate about football to promote sports and high moral values. This is also confirmed by the number of countries participating in Football for Friendship which has doubled this year. We can see that children, who attended the last year’s forum in London, have turned out to be the ambassadors of tolerance, equality and a healthy lifestyle. It means that thanks to football the world can really become a little kinder, healthier and more tolerant. We’ll do our best to continue our efforts with the help of young athletes participating in the project,” said Franz Beckenbauer.
Gazprom is a global energy company. Its major business lines are geological exploration, production, transportation, storage, processing and sales of gas, gas condensate and oil, sales of gas as a vehicle fuel as well as generation and marketing of heat and electric power.
Gazprom views its mission in reliable, efficient and balanced supply of natural gas, other fuels and their derivatives to consumers. The Company takes leading positions in the Russian energy sector and is one of the top Russian oil producers.
Gazprom holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves. Its share in the global and Russian gas reserves makes up 17 and 72 per cent respectively. Gazprom accounts for 13 and 74 per cent of the global and Russian gas production output accordingly. At present, the Company actively implements large-scale projects aimed at developing gas resources of the Yamal Peninsula, the Arctic shelf, Eastern Siberia and the Far East, as well as hydrocarbon exploration and production projects abroad.
Together with the active business development, Gazprom pays much attention to social projects. In particular, the Company provides support to a number of sports organizations and events of both international and global scale. Gazprom is the official partner of the UEFA Champions League, offering support to the UEFA Super Cup, as well as a whole range of world’s famous football clubs – German Schalke 04, British Chelsea and Serbian Crvena Zvezda.
Gazprom is a permanent sponsor of the Zenit FC, the CSKA (St. Petersburg) and the Avangard (Omsk Region) hockey clubs, the Zenit-Kazan volleyball club, the St. Petersburg Open tennis tournament. The Сompany annually co-finances rhythmic sportive gymnastics, volleyball, chess, biathlon and other sports competitions. Across its operation areas Gazprom conducts the Adult and Children’s Spartakiada Games on a regular basis.
The Gazprom for Children program is the Company’s largest social project. The program is primarily targeted at creating the environment for harmonious spiritual and physical development of children and teenagers, and helping them to discover and implement their potential.
The program embraces 73 Russian regions. 45 Gazprom subsidiaries and organizations take part in the program as well as 50 regional gas companies forming part of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Group. In 2007–2013, the program’s budget was RUB 26.9 billion. These funds, in particular, have already been used for the construction and upgrade of more than 1,000 sports facilities. Moreover, within the framework of the program, Gazprom has been engaging coaches and teachers, providing sports departments and activity groups with the required equipment, conducting festivals and sports events.
The Football for Friendship international children’s social project is implemented by Gazprom within its Gazprom for Children social program.
The annual Football for Friendship international children’s forum is the major event of the project. The first forum was held on May 25, 2013 in London, during which its delegates from 8 European countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and the UK) prepared an Open Letter outlining the key principles of the project: traditions, peace, friendship, victory, health, equality, fair play and commitment. The letter was signed by the representative of each country, and the project’s Ambassador Franz Beckenbauer. The document was sent to Joseph Blatter, President of the International Football Federation (FIFA), Michel Platini, President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee. In September 2013 the project participants had a meeting with Joseph Blatter, who confirmed the receipt of the letter, saying he was proud to be one of the people it had been addressed to.
Additional details about the project can be found at website.