Gazprom Football for Friendship 2018 paves road to Russia for two Aussie kids

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Australia, 24 April 2018 – The 2018 Football for Friendship (F4F) programme is transforming a FIFA World Cup dream into reality for two Aussie youngsters, Luca Selby Durso and Noah Borg who have been selected to fly to Russia on an all expenses paid trip to represent Australia at the F4F programme.

Taking place in Moscow, Russia on 8-15 June ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, F4F is an annual International Children’s social programme organized by Gazprom, an international company supporting global social projects and setting new standards in relation to social policy. The aim of the programme is to promote essential values embodied by football with the younger generation such as respect for other cultures and nationalities as well as equality.

Selby Durso will represent Australia as a Player while Noah Borg will attend as a Young Journalist, giving the country even more presence ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.They will join other 12-year-old football players and journalists from 211 countries and regions to participate in the 8-day programme.

“I am passionate about football and would love to play for the Socceroos one day. It is a dream to represent Australia and visit Russia to see the World Cup,” said Durso.

Meanwhile, Borg said: “The nine values of the program - friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour - mean a lot to me. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you can do, we are all equal and we should treat everyone the same and with respect.”

A total of 32 International Teams of Friendship will compete at the Football for Friendship World Championship on 12 June 2018. In the days leading up to the tournament, each player will be trained by Young Coaches who are football players ranging between 14 to 16 years of age from various countries. The Championship and training sessions will form the majority of the programme in addition to the Sixth International Football for Friendship Children’s Forum. The forum will see participants discussing how to promote the programme’s core values of friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour. The programme concludes with all F4F participants attending the opening match of the FIFA World Cup on 14 June 2018 as hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Football for Friendship is supported by FIFA, UEFA, the International Olympic Committee and football federations and leading clubs around the world. More than 5,000 media outlets worldwide will cover the programme, which is considered a unique educational programme by the United Nations.

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