Jakarta. One young Indonesian goalkeeper will get a chance to join an international team participating in the Gazprom Football for Friendship Program, slated to take place in Moscow on June 8-15.
Football for Friendship is an international children's social program initiated by the Russian energy company in 2013. It includes several sports and educational events held in different countries around the globe.
An open draw for the program was held in Moscow on Feb. 13 but the organizers have yet to announce the players' names, as this is the prerogative of each participating country's national federation.
The Football for Friendship Program has entered its sixth edition and has expanded to 211 countries and regions this year from 64 in 2017 and only eight in 2013. Nearly 200 young footballers, divided into 32 international teams of friendship, will be involved in the event. The roles of the players are determined by the open draw, as each team will comprise of a goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders and a forward.
The 32 teams will compete in the Football for Friendship World Championship on June 12.
The teams are assembled using the "football for friendship" principles – athletes of different nationalities, different genders and different physical abilities play together in one team. The program also provides an opportunity for young and aspiring 12-year-old journalists to cover the event in the Football for Friendship International Children's Press Center.
"The sixth season of the international children's social program Football for Friendship is officially open. This year, Football for Friendship is supported by 211 countries and regions! For the very first time, young athletes from all parts of the world where football is played will meet on the same field," Viktor Zubkov, chairman of Gazprom's board of directors, said in a press release.
"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. Football for Friendship gives that opportunity to everyone."
The program offers more than just sports activities. The day after the championship, these young ambassadors will meet at the Sixth International Football for Friendship Children's Forum to discuss ways its key values – friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, tradition and honor – can be promoted globally. The young footballers will be learning about these values under the supervision of famous footballers during the International Friendship Camp.
There are no boundaries to participation in the event, supported by world football governing body FIFA, as boys and girls, including those physically challenged, have equal opportunities.