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St. Petersburg hosts Fifth Football for Friendship 2017 International Children’s Forum featuring young participants from 64 countries

Background

The Football for Friendship (F4F) international children's social project has been implemented by Gazprom since 2013.

The project is aimed at developing youth football and fostering tolerance and respect toward different cultures and ethnicities among children from across the world. The key values supported and promoted by the project's participants include friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honor.

The annual Football for Friendship International Children's Forum is the project’s most important event, bringing together young footballers from different countries who discuss worldwide promotion of the key values with media professionals and famous football players.

The F4F project has a special prize: the Nine Values Cup is a unique trophy awarded annually to a professional football club for the implementation of social initiatives based on the project’s values. The winner is chosen by young F4F ambassadors through a vote held in all countries participating in the project.

Thousands of participants join F4F every year. Since its inception, the project's geographical scope expanded considerably from 8 countries in 2013 to 64 in 2017. Hundreds of young athletes become ambassadors for the F4F movement and its values in their respective countries. The Friendship Bracelet, the official symbol of F4F, is worn by over 400,000 children and adults across the world, including well-known athletes and journalists, performers, political figures, and heads of state.

In 2017, the project’s participating countries are as follows: 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.

The fifth season of the project was held in a new format. Instead of representing football clubs from different countries, young players were united into eight international Friendship Teams. Eight-player teams were formed of 12-year-old boys and girls, including those with disabilities. The F4F International Organizing Committee joined efforts with national football federations to select the players (one representative from each country).

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